Johnson City Press Monday, April 21, 2014
Opinion

Health care cost and Melungeon origin in Sunday's Forum

August 12th, 2013 5:39 pm by Staff Report

Health care cost and Melungeon origin in Sunday's Forum

It is an embarrassment and a shame to this country to see people with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses have to hold yard sales and other fundraising events to pay for the health care they need to survive.
Having medical buses come through once a year to our local racetrack to offer health care treatment is not enough to erase our guilt over the fact that many are suffering and dying from needed health care in our own country. We are so desensitized to these plights that we allow them to continue daily while our fellow Americans are fighting for their health and their lives.
We must stand and fight for a single-payer health care system like the other industrialized countries have for their people. Health care as a commodity for profit is evil and we need to repent and demand a change from our leaders.
And please don’t fall for the rhetoric from the opposition that it is socialism and people wanting something for free. No one in their right mind thinks it would be for free, but it would be fair for all.
We need to educate ourselves about and support HR 676 — the Expanded and Improved Medicare For All Act.
DONNA WILLIAMSON
Johnson City
Melungeon origin
In May 2012, an article appeared in several newspapers throughout a wide area concerning a study that was conducted in an attempt to explain the origin of the Melungeons. This study was not only grossly misleading but also presumptuous and somewhat unacademic and based on an unproven theory — among many others — which has been presented for years.
Perhaps the motive or intent of the self-appointed experts who were involved in the study was to become known for finally solving the mystery of the origin of Melungeons. It is quite ridiculous and unscholarly to suggest that the conclusions from the study define all or even the majority of Melungeons.
One must logically believe that Melungeons did not suddenly appear from one source, but rather over a long period of time evolved from many different ancestral origins. However, their ancestral origins and sociocultural factors must have been similar enough to cause them to come together and become identified as one group.
I am of Melungeon heritage and have always been aware of and proud of this part of my diverse heritage. To satisfy my lifelong interest in my family heritage, I have had all the available DNA tests, as did those involved in the study group. My test results, however, did not agree with the theory promoted by the study group. There are others who can make the same claim.
My test results revealed that my heritage is 88.47 percent Western European and 11.53 percent Middle Eastern — no sub-Saharan, as the study suggests. I have spoken with the DNA testing company many times with confirmation of the results as stated each time. Simple math tells one that when the two percentages are added, the total is 100 percent. Nothing more, nothing less.
ROBERT D. DAVIS
Morristown

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