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WV Observer: Key Issues Overlooked in Run-Up to Iowa Caucus

January 2, 2008

Charleston, WV – Presidential candidates face their first major test in the Iowa Caucuses on Thursday. But in West Virginia, one local observer is worried that key issues - like health care and ending the Iraq War - aren't getting enough attention.

Rick Wilson, with the American Friends Service Committee's "Economic Justice Project" in West Virginia, says the candidates need to focus on how American prosperity can be shared by both rich and poor. And, he says, fixing a growing gap in health care should be one of the most pressing priorities.

"We need to address the problem of people without health insurance; I mean 46 million Americans don't have health insurance and over 300,000 West Virginians don't have health coverage."

Wilson also believes that getting the U.S. out of Iraq should be a key part of this election. He cites the risk to American troops and mismanaged resources as reasons for a withdrawal.

"The war is costing about $720 million every day; we've already had nearly 4,000 American casualties. It's not sustainable, and it's not good for the country."

Wilson thinks other important issues are also being overlooked in the presidential race, with too much focus on fund-raising and poll results. He says voters need to speak up to make sure candidates pay attention to their concerns.

Rob Ferrett/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WV