Change, Policy, and the Long Road Ahead

Change, Policy, and the Long Road Ahead

A prominent medical professional at Stanford once said “Pay attention to what makes you angry. That’s your issue choosing you.” In recent times, the alarming disparities in health equality and social justice have outlined America’s shadow. Many of the people residing in this country, whether residents or immigrants, have begun to feel undermined and neglected. This only catalyzes the gap in health equity between those of higher socioeconomic status, different races and cultures, and those who truly do believe in the American dream. While my thoughts here are not meant to be political or divisive, I simply wish to give my opinion on these things that have both enlightened and aggravated me.

No matter the issue that is brought to light, the first step in any pathway of resolution is simple: acknowledge the problem. While those in classes or passionate about these issues understand the implications of the gap in equity, many others don’t. These issues, first and foremost, need to be brought to light in a simple and factual matter. As we have seen recently in many news outlets and developments, the importance of evidence and factual certainties are eroding to those in charge of its change. The data that is recorded and stored needs to be synthesized and presented in a feasible and pragmatic way. Those in the field of public health and medicine have already started this. But more exposure, more understanding, more compassion is needed to change this.

In terms of specific policy, I believe that education and fiscal policy is the best tool to initially combat this lack in equity. As we have seen in class, a higher socioeconomic status is correlated to an increase in health certainty and healthcare. While it is not a guarantee that wealth will provide more resolution, the people more at risk for a health equity loss need resources to provide healthcare and promote well-being. Fiscally, this is one avenue in which policy can be enacted towards. As we have seen, the implementation of the Affordable Health Care act was meant to provide those fiscally and socially challenged with healthcare options. While some may not have agreed at its nuances, its idea and soul is something that is recognized by those across both sides of the isle.  A change in fiscal policy can also lead to an overall growth of society as those with more money, arguably, can provide a pathway for those who need it to stand on their own. The morals of this issue can be debated at an another time but in general, fiscal responsibility is needed to initiate a change.

Education, however, remains the most important aspect of change. Simply put, if one is not informed on the issue, then a judgment cannot be made which is both accurate and reflective of the situation. Disregarding “alternate” ideas and stories, knowledge of the issue and its research is important for everyone to understand to resolve the issue.

Barring any intensive debates and disputes, what do you believe is the best avenue for change? Do you think that it is more important for action to be taken first or knowledge to be presented?


Thanks! Have fun discussing!

10 thoughts on “Change, Policy, and the Long Road Ahead

  1. A very thoughtful reflection you wrote up there Archan. I was also surprised by the controlled experiment done Unnatural Causes comparing house ownership in the participants’ childhood. The results shows that bad health can be covertly inherited. You provided serval solution to this problem such as easier access to health care. In my opinion, the best way to shorten the life expectancy gap is to make higher education more accessible financially, and to have a more equal distribution of wealth.

  2. I believe that the best and most efficient avenue for change is when people are all on the same page. Usually, this starts with people being educated about the situation or the problem. If people do not know what is happening, they will never act. Ideally, education will naturally lead to action.

    Unfortunately, this is also very difficult . With fake news and misunderstandings polluting social media and with people being so polarized with their views, action often comes before education. Furthermore, some people do not want to change their opinions and do not want to listen and understand what the other side has to say. This deadlock becomes the challenge to many of the core problems seen today.

  3. You make a great point in your discussion of the strategies that can be implemented to combat health inequities. I believe that knowledge must be presented first and foremost, being that it helps ensure relevant judgments. Because of this, I agree with your emphasis on the importance of education in bringing awareness about this issue to the public. In this way, individual perspectives are more objective and based on facts and logical reasons.

    The ACA has had a tremendous impact on health care and the public, providing millions of citizens with access to the health care system. I believe that it was extremely beneficial, and hints at the direction future steps to remove health care disparities should take. Fiscal policy, if implemented correctly, will make the health care system more equitable.

  4. Education is the most important step in making a change. Everyone should look at all situations from equal sides. In many cases, people who have strong opinions watch and read information that further pushes their views to the left or the right. Instead, everyone should have the most accurate and well rounded information. This way they can make an informed decision that best suits themselves.

  5. I believe that using education to raise awareness of social inequities and social injustice issues is a key component to making a change in our society. There are few problems that can be successfully resolved without people that are knowledgeable on the issue. However, education can only be an influential tool if the person receiving it is open to different ideas and perspectives. Ignorance will not solve anything, and those who deliberately choose to remain ignorant are the ones who may potentially hinder the development of an equitable environment. I strongly stand by the belief that unbiased education is the cornerstone to combat inequities in our communities and society.

  6. I agree with you on how education should be the most important step in solving this issue. There are many things in the world that people just don’t understand and if they were to be enlightened then they’ll be more capable to make better decisions later on. To respond with your second question, I believe knowledge should be presented first prior to any action being taken. If one doesn’t think before they act, serious consequences might occur. We need to take some time and make a foolproof plan.

  7. Hi Archan,
    Thank you so much for your thoughtful post. I, too , think education is incredibly important. Not necessarily just in the school system though. I’m more thinking of conversations each one of us has. If we make sure that the people we know are informed about those issues maybe they will tell the people they know and so forth. I think this would be one good way to educate people about such serious issues.

  8. I don’t think that education would be the most effective way to create change in our country, simply because I don’t think it’s possibly for the majority of the electorate to be educated about an issue. A recent Gallup poll found that only 35% of citizens surveyed knew the name of their district representative in Congress. Obviously, democracy requires voters to be well informed. If our voters are so poorly informed, there are only two possible solutions: better educate them or take away their decision making power.
    Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The people cannot be all, and always, well informed.” Our world has become exponentially more complex since Jefferson’s time and expecting everyone to be well informed on all the country’s issues is not realistic. Labor specialization has often been considered a hallmark of civilization. Perhaps, it’s time that voting in this country also becomes specialized.

  9. Archan always has lit blog posts. On a more serious note, I’d like to talk about the quote from the professor at Stanford. The quote basically says that we should support the issues that anger us. I would probably agree that we will be most passionate about issues at illicit emotional responses from us because motivation comes from powerful emotions. However, I would fail to agree that issues close to me are most worthy of my attention. For example, I am particularly opposed to consumption of alcohol as it is an issue that has made a large impact on my family. However, sometimes you must choose your battles. While I may personally care much more about alcoholism then something like poverty because it has touched me more. I would tell you that poverty or education of poorer and less advantaged people then myself is a much larger and more important issue. I really believe that the end of discussion statement is that the issue that we have is not the issue that others have necessarily. So much of this course has been focused on gaining the perspective that as people who will have some level of power someday, that we can lend a hand to those who may not have as much control as us. It make a religious man very unhappy that others do not share his belief, but in the end he can either choose to act in self interest, or he can choose to spend his time on the a greater good that may help others outside of him.

  10. I’m a strong proponent of moving in no direction at all as opposed to moving in a wrong direction. To that end, in order to create a course of action that has any lasting impact, there has to be an increase in correct knowledge that is distributed throughout the world, as the alternative means allowing the possibility of people mistakenly designating a choice contrary to their benefit.

    However, as Albert noted, it’s impractical to consider the entire scope of a country, as more often than not, people are either too nonchalant or lack the resources to bother to try and understand the decisions that will impact them. Nevertheless, while difficult to accomplish, I still believe education is the first step towards change.

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