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Ms. Bledsoe,

I for one applaud the for-sight the committee showed in not allowing your proposal out of committee. The money problems at UAMS are not the result of helmet-less motorcycle riders. What about the indigent population that UAMS serves and the Medicare/Medicaid issues? How much does that cost UAMS? Should we also raise the insurance rates of all of the tobacco users with diagnosed complications from their "habit" in the state? What about the illicit drug users? Or the non-compliant diabetics? Motorcyclists are a small percentage of the problem, how can you possibly single out this group as responsible for this? Did the insurance industry provide you with supporting data? What are the actual facts?

What is the root cause of most motorcycle accidents? It has nothing to do with helmet usage! Maybe the SUV/car driver talking on the cell phone or trying to eat that fast food and failing to yield the right of way, or just not paying any attention to their surroundings has something to do with it! I am a motorcycle rider (I CHOOSE to wear a helmet any time I ride and have taken the motorcycle safety foundation course) and a Registered Nurse that graduated from UAMS. I currently work in critical care in TN and have not had the opportunity to care for any motorcyclists injured as a result of an "accident." I have cared for obese/ non-compliant diabetics with renal failure and heart related problems, as well as smokers with associated heart/lung problems, is their insurance higher because of their personal freedom of choice?

I spent 20 years in the military protecting the right to freedom of choice for all Americans. I respect your right to be who you are and make your own decisions as an adult in this country. I do not recognize your right to make decisions for me about my personal freedom of choice!

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