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LETTERS: 1.22.15

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The Bridge Presents Both Sides

Editor:

I wanted to say that the Montpelier Bridge paper seems to be fair and balanced in their interviews. Both parties are covered fairly equally at the state house.

It’s refreshing to have a paper that that is middle ground and not far left. I’m for more balance in Montpelier — people, papers, and politics.

Tim Celley, East Calais

 

The Bridge Does a lot for Montpelier

Editor:

In the Dec. 18 issue of this paper, the publisher, Nat Frothingham, took the (apparently) unprecedented action of writing an editorial in support of a candidate for governor of Vermont. I would not have known it was a departure from The Bridge’s “tradition,” if Frothingham hadn’t written thus.

As one might expect, in the subsequent (Jan. 8) issue, there were responses both for and against. There was agreement from Peter Buknatski, and there was cogent disagreement from Vince Rossano. Cool.

Then there were some missives that sounded just plain ridiculous. “Please stop delivering The Bridge to our residence,” demanded one. “…I can’t support The Bridge on this one — in spirit, deed, or financial contribution,” another wrote sternly.

Really? These individuals are cutting off their subscriptions or financial support because of their disagreement with one editorial? Wow. For sure, The Bridge is not the New York Times or WSJ. One may choose to not subscribe simply because they aren’t interested. But shut off your subscription because you’re peeved about one editorial? How thin-skinned is that?

In my humble opinion, The Bridge does a hell of lot more for Montpelier, than Montpelier does for The Bridge. And it does so on the budget of a tick on a church mouse’s ass. Maybe Mr. Frothingham has some vast treasure stashed away in the Caymans — I don’t know, but when I see him putting around town in a twenty-something-year-old car that sounds like it’s going to cast its withers any moment, it seems to me that shutting off your financial support to the only community newspaper we have is rather short-sighted, small-minded, and petty.

Steven Farnham, Plainfield

 

Health Care is a Human Right

Editor:

On Jan. 8, I participated in a nonviolent sit-in in support of the human right to health care. As we sat in the People’s House, we talked about why were there. The stories we shared about how this broken health care system affects people’s lives were heartbreaking.

We all need health care at some points in our lives, because illness is part of the human condition. The human right to health care means that it should not be a commodity sold through the insurance market. It is a shared need of all people and should be a public good — much as education, police, and fire services are publicly financed and available to all.

Currently our health care system treats health care as a product purchased through insurance plans or by cash payment. That system is broken in so many ways, and the result is that premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and excluded services stand between people and the care they need. People who can’t afford care can go without, accrue medical debt, or become charity cases (we’ve all seen the collection bins). None of these are acceptable or dignified options.

I have read Shumlin’s financing proposal. Though I don’t agree with all of his assumptions about how to fund the system, some of his projections look good for Vermont’s families.  I believe that this proposal deserves a public hearing, so Vermont residents can weigh in on what we want our health care system to look like and how it can be equitably financed.  For everyone who can’t access needed care, now is the right time.

Ellen Schwartz

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