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So now CAMC and Mon Health have announced they are merging. The people of Charleston have my sympathies as they embark on a journey we are well into here in Huntington.

When Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center announced their merger plans in Huntington, the head of Steel of West Virginia was the only person with the resources to challenge the move. He said that prices would go up and choice and quality would go down.

He has been right on all three counts. Healthcare is much more expensive in the Huntington area and shows no signs of slowing down. When you consider that Cabell Huntington Hospital alone is sitting on more than $346 million in cash and the combined Mountain Health Network has half a billion in cash, it’s clear the money is coming from somewhere. Mostly out of the back pockets of their patients.

We used to be able to go to Charleston to save significantly on some medical costs. Those days are apparently numbered if what has happened in Huntington is any indication.

Monty Fowler

Huntington

GOP shows hypocrisy when

it comes to abortion rights

There is a strong indication that Roe v. Wade will be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, allowing states to “criminalize” abortions. Many have already done so. It will impact mostly the poor and racial and ethnic minorities, women unable to have the time off from work or funds to travel to states that allow the procedure. That demographic accounts for over 50% of abortions in the country. A victory for the GOP and its fundamentalist Christian base.

The GOP is also the party that has consistently opposed extending the “security net” for the disadvantaged, be it for food, health care, education, housing, etc. One word comes to mind: hypocrites. A party which champions “life for the unborn” and refusing to support the mothers struggling to support themselves and their children. (Some anti- abortion laws in GOP states even do not make exceptions for incest and rape.) Fantastic for the privileged GOP politicians living in a “bubble” separate from the real world. No worries.

Nicholas Freidin

Huntington

Protect yourself against the dangers of lithium batteries

Since 2016, more than 2,200 fires worldwide have been caused by lithium batteries, with hundreds of injuries and death. These fires need no air to burn and cannot be put out by water or smothering. Even after the fires are extinguished, mostly by burning out, they may restart days or weeks later. In 2021, a warehouse fire in Illinois, while storing over 200,000 pounds of used and new lithium batteries including car batteries, exploded and burned for three days before being contained by using quick drying cement as a blanket.

For you, as a precaution, consider recharging your small lithium batteries, such as those used in cell phones, in a metal container. For large batteries, like those on E-bikes, recharge outdoors away from the house, never indoors. Lithium batteries are generally safe while new, but after many recharges, just be aware, there is a danger zone and little warning when you cross that line.

Concerning current EV cars and trucks containing whole banks of lithium batteries being involved in road accidents: damage to these batteries under the right conditions could mean “Hell on earth” for firefighters.

Dorsey “Dan” Boyd

Chesapeake, Ohio

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