The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

November 19, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Obamacare will be paid for by the middle class

I heard a news report on the radio that 16 percent of Americans live in poverty. This is not surprising to me. It’s been proven the people who work in the service industry qualify for food stamps.

And with the number of coal mines closing in recent weeks, I’d expect that number of food stamp recipients to increase.

Which brings me to Obamacare, a.k.a. Medicaid expansion. The president is counting on the middle class to sign up for this program, which is not happening. What IS happening, though, is that a lot more people are signing up for Medicaid because they are now eligible due to their low income level.

Who do you think is going to pay for this? Of course it’s going to be the middle-class taxpayer.

Forget about the website problems which will eventually be corrected. The real smack in the face will be when implementation of this mandate goes into effect.

Vickie Donell-Williams



Skiers should wear helmets for safety

Wearing a helmet while skiing or snowboarding is, without a doubt, a smart thing to do. Yet, many do not agree the helmet is a necessary piece of equipment.

It is estimated that 10 million Americans ski. Every year there are 600,000 injuries, with 20 percent of those injuries being from head trauma. Head injuries are the chief cause of death among skiers and snowboarders, and often the victim is not wearing a helmet.

An estimated 74 percent of head injuries occur from skiers hitting their heads on the snow, 10 percent from collision with another person and 13 percent from hitting a stationary object. Depending on the slope, a person can travel up to, and even beyond, 80 miles per hour. Imagine losing control at that speed and hitting a tree.

Providing the public with current statistics and reliable evidence may cause them to take a second look at adding a helmet to their winter-sports gear. Helmets, much like seatbelts, are safety devices that can prevent or lessen injury when used properly.

Supporters for helmet use report that injuries can actually be reduced by 35 percent in adults and 59 percent in children.

A Johns Hopkins University-led study, released in November 2012, found that the use of helmets, while skiing or snowboarding, decreases the severity of head injuries. The Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma now recommends all skiers and snowboarders wear a helmet.

Information, combined with common sense, should cause a person to want the added protection of a helmet, for themselves and their children. The potential for severe head injury is greatly reduced by wearing a helmet. Reputable research has been conducted to support this fact.

As ski season approaches, consider these facts and determine if your head is worth protecting in the unfortunate event of a skiing accident.

Cindy Priddy, RN

Crab Orchard