Fixing AmericaThrough the semester our class wasassigned two books that were on complex topics such as U.S. healthcare reformand U.S. prison reform. Both books made me a more in-depth critical thinker,causing me to believe that the free world has some room for change.
Personally I found Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice inPrisons Around the World more engaging with the prison interviewsthan The Healing of America: A Global Questfor Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care. The thesis of The Healing ofAmerica: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fair Health Care is thatAmerica can bring about basic changes by taking ideas from foreign models ofhealth care. Throughout the semester the class has been reading The Healingof America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care writtenby T.R. Reid. In the introduction of the book, Reid writes aboutNikki White who was a United States citizen that was diagnosed with lupuserythematosus right after college.
Nikki White died at 32 years old dueto not having health insurance to cover appropriate treatments. Lupus erythematosus is a very treatable conditionin the U.S. Reid writes if White “lived in, say, Japan-the world’s second-richest nation- or Germany (third richest).
Or other countries, such asBritain, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, Sweden etc., the healthcare system therewould have lived a normal life span.”(Reid, 2010, p.1) it is Reid’s belief thatthe U.S.
health system failed Nikki White and now she is dead due to thatfailure. This leads Reid to write about multiple countries health systems anddiscusses how they would hypothetically treat patients in Nikki White’ssituation. I found someweakness and strengths in the book The Healing of America: A Global Questfor Better, Cheaper, and Fair Health Care. Some weaknesses were Reidwas bias throughout his research. Also at some parts the writer comes offcontradicting himself, he complains how healthcare reform has been derailed inthe U.S.
due to socialism, yet Reid argues in other parts of the book that theU.S. should incorporate health care reform modeled after communist andsocialist countries. The author highlights unjust patient treatment and unfavorable healthcare scenarios to support his view that healthcare reform is paramount. The author plays up the communist andsocialist language and sympathies of those who have reformed health care invarious countries.
The authorshows his bias by not presenting all the information about the healthcaresystems he favors. For example, in a socialist or communist healthcare systeman individual’s choices and freedom to select healthcare and providers isdetermined by the Government. The lackof choice is a negative to many Americans. I also had an issuewith how the author did not address how complex health care reform is; at timesit felt like he was referring to healthcare reform as an overnight fix.
Whenyou don’t discuss or address all the issues it over simplifies a problem thatis very complex. Beside those fewdiscrepancies, overall the book was strongly written and easy to understand. Reid explains Affordable Care Act in a concise andclear way so the reader can better understand. This personally helped me become more knowledgeable about differenthealthcare solutions. We also read Incarceration Nations: AJourney to Justice in Prisons around the world by Baz Dreisingerthroughout the semester. The thesis of Incarceration Nations: A Journey toJustice in Prisons around the world is that America can bring aboutfundamental changes by borrowing ideas from foreign models of prison systems.Baz Dreisinger wrote about American prison system are very flawed. Dreisinger believes that the American prison system is failing Americasimilar to how Reid’s belief that the American healthcare system is failingAmericans.
Dreisinger criticizes the American prison system about being abusiness instead of a place for prisoner to rehabilitate their wrongfulbehavior and leave their life of crime behind (Dreisinger, 2016, p.5). Dresinger further criticizesthe American prison system and other foreign prison systems like Malaysia(Singapore).
America prisons are extremely crowded and as a resultSingapore prisons are as well according to Dresinger. Dresinger isn’tsaying that U.S. is directly affecting the Singapore prison she visited in thebook. What she is saying is America leads the way as a world power and bysetting the bar low other smaller countries have followed.
Even thoughthe U.S. is often a world leader, we are not when it comes to prisonsystems. She also explained that eventhough the U.S. is a world power there are other countries that have a bettermodels.