Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act in 1978 in an effort to stop American-Indian families from having their children removed by state and local officials. Yet 36 years later, Indian children in South Dakota are 11 times more likely to be removed from their families and placed in foster care than non-Indian children.
Personal reinvention can be achieved through service to others. This is Susan Burton's experience, and hers is an inspiring story of determination and dedication. As an African-American woman from South Central Los Angeles, Burton was incarcerated six times over 20 years for drug-related offenses. Her young son had died accidentally, and the system seemed to be working against her at every turn.
It's not against the law to worship a free market, compassionless, capitalist society or to pretend that charity is a reasonable substitute for social services. But it is backwards. And it's wrong to worship this fantasy and try to persuade others that it's tantamount to the Christian God written about in the Bible.
To fundamentally engage the American public in the future of the health care delivery system, we need to see value through their eyes as people endeavor to live their lives to the fullest, despite limitations. This can best be achieved by putting quality of life measures on the same level with quality of health measures to truly drive health system change.
We have crowds with signs and balloons and yellow ribbons and cameras welcoming veterans home as they step off that plane; we have parades and sales at the mall a couple of times a year in honor of their service. But as veterans and their families settle back into life at home together, I fear we still fall short.