Tomorrow my daughter turns five years old. And having endured the San Francisco Unified School District “lottery” she will begin kindergarten in the fall. So I have been thinking a lot about how to prepare her for the classroom environment and, in a way, life. The tragedy last week at Oikos University, though, brought to mind another five-year anniversary, the massacre at Virginia Tech.
As we mark the second anniversary of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) now is a good time to have what in medical parlance is called a “time out” and reflect on how far we have come and where we need to go.
Some states are challenging the legality of vital provisions such as Medicaid expansion and the mandate for all Americans to carry health insurance. Candidates vying for President Obama’s job vow a complete repeal of the ACA. Not surprisingly, polls show a confused public wondering what the health law means for them and the health plan they have now. Despite this, the obfuscations cannot hide the reality that tens of millions of people have already been served by the initial phases of ACA.
In 2006, I traveled to North Korea.
The “other half” of my ethnic heritage had been a long held fascination. The American media had presented images of laughable authoritarian figures, strange rituals, and helpless suffering. My parents had instilled a fear of “the other” that they were taught as children in South Korea. So I went to find the truth.