Old "Experiment"

April 11, 2012

Seven Days

Thanks so much for the article “Spin Doctors” by Kathryn Flagg in the March 21 edition of Seven Days. It is refreshing to have the “spin doctors” shown for what they are and what they are trying to do. If anyone wants to understand what they are propagating, try going through the American, and Vermont’s, health care system like I once was obliged to do. I nearly succumbed to the experience. Like Mr. Potter going to Wise County, Va., to watch people being treated in animal stalls, this was my “epiphany.”

I was, however, miffed at one point in the article: the quote “we’re lab rats,” by Darcie Johnston. While I do not object to Johnston expressing her opinions in the article, just ending the story as “lab rats” was not an accurate description of our move toward reform. Vermont is no more experimental than the rest of the industrialized world, which already has these types of health care systems in place and, while not perfect, a record behind them to prove their worth. In fact, the first publicly funded health care system was established in 19th-century Germany by the Prussian autocrat and dictator Otto von Bismarck — hardly a liberal or a socialist.

What is so revolutionary and unique about Vermont, and thus more threatening to the spin doctors, is that we possess the courage to carry through our much-needed reform.

Walter Carpenter
Montpelier