Forum, Dec. 5: Share Your Health Care Experiences

Wednesday, December 05, 2018
Sharing Health Care Experiences

Thank you for printing Jennifer Yocom’s opinion column (“What Health Care for All Really Looks Like,” Nov. 29). Someone I know shared a similar story with me.

She and her husband planned a long holiday in the United Kingdom but she got very sick upon arrival and spent the entire vacation in various hospitals in and outside of London. She ended up having a serious surgery and was never asked for anything beyond her home address, where she received a small bill.

The Vermont Workers’ Center has a vision that looks forward to an equitable model of universal health care in which we pay progressive taxes to cover every body — and I use “body” in the literal sense. All western countries offer a form of national health plan. No matter what negativity your readers might hear about other health care systems, rest assured the recipients of those programs would not give them up.

Our bodies in this country should not be for sale. Our health is not a commodity like products in the supermarket. This is the narrative that we need to change.

Join the Vermont Workers’ Center for a communal dinner on Sunday, at 5:30 p.m., at the Listen Center, 42 Maple St, White River Junction to tell and record our health care experiences with the for-profit system for our legislators.

We are not alone and we can bring about real change only when we are united. Health care is a human right.

Sharon Racusin


‘Post’ Story Ignored Sexual Ambush

The Valley News published a Washington Post story about the death of Bernardo Bertolucci that lauds his most famous film (“ ‘Last Tango in Paris’ Director Bernardo Bertolucci Dies at 77,” Nov. 27). Substantial mention is made of Bertolucci’s artistic achievement in that film’s “raw depiction of sex — including a rape scene involving a stick of butter.”

But, as mentioned, the rape scene also involved a young actress, Maria Schneider. The story notes the scene “spurred international outrage,” but makes no mention of Bertolucci’s eventual acknowledgement that he and actor Marlon Brando conspired to not tell Schneider what they were going to do to her on the set.

“I wanted her reaction as a girl, not as an actress. ... I wanted her to react humiliated,” Bertolucci said in 2013 during a master class at the Cinemathèque Francaise, a film archive in Paris.

Schneider talked about the humiliation in a 2007 interview with a British newspaper, adding, “I wanted to be recognized as an actress and the whole scandal and aftermath of the film turned me a little crazy and I had a breakdown.”

Surviving a subsequent suicide attempt, Schneider died of cancer in 2011 at age 58.

I believe the story ignored the deceased’s sexual ambush of a young actress trying to do her job on the set. To me, that resembles the silence that made invisible years of sexual objectification of young students trying to advance their careers in Dartmouth College’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

I hope that — if only to set an example for Dartmouth — the Valley News will maintain a high standard for veracity in stories about sexism and sexual predators.

Robert Spottswood


Minimum Wage Law Is an Intrusion

The Page 1 photograph in the Sunday Valley News was distasteful. The comment by Rev. John Gregory-Davis in the caption was repulsive (“Wage Action,” Dec. 2).

First, I believe that any “minimum wage” law is an unconstitutional intrusion by government into the operation of private businesses. What an employee is paid is a matter between the employee and the employer. No one is being forced to work for anyone. No employer should be forced to adhere to a government-imposed rate of pay.

Second, the $7.25 minimum wage here is not a joke. It is a starting wage or training wage. It is also what the employer believes the work being done at that level is worth. Learn the job. Learn the company you work for. Get the skills down pat. Show dependability, reliability and initiative. If, after all that, your current employer can’t or won’t offer you a higher-level or better-paying job, vote with your feet to an employer who will.

In the caption, Gregory-Davis calls New Hampshire “the sinkhole in New England.” In his view, I guess, New Hampshire residents are the “New England Deplorables.” What a sad commentary. He insults and disparages those of us who live here simply because we may not agree with his views on whatever matter he’s involved with. He owes the state and its residents an apology.

Alan Tanenbaum