Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summer Reading and Viewing

  ..Stuff to read and watch if you care about... 

Speaking engagements were hard to come by over the summer but there is no shortage of resources to learn more about what's happening in reproductive justice and health care reform.  Here are my top recommendations, most of which are available to stream for free online or check out from the library.

..Reproductive Justice...

The Texas Tribune's Video Series: Fertile Ground

For a comprehensive look at the impact of political games being played with Texas's Women's Health Program. After the SCOTUS ruling, it is still under siege. This 6-part series explains what happened with family planning funding and abortion restrictions during the last Texas legislative session. Data and numbers should give you a good idea of what's at stake.

Rachel Maddow's MSNBC Documentary: The Assassination of Dr. Tiller

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Preview available here. If you subscribe to Netflix streaming service, you can find Rachel Maddow's profile of the political circumstances and events leading up to the day in 2009 when the late-term abortion provider was shot to death in his church. Dr. Tiller's simple explanation of why he chose to perform late-term abortions is an especially profound moment. The documentary also exposes the conditions that have forged a culture of terrorism against abortion clinics and providers.

.. America's Broken Health Care System...

These resources may be a bit dated but give a well-rounded overview of what makes the current model unsustainable. Examining other health care systems around the world gives insight into what we can and cannot accomplish going forward.

Frontline's Sick Around America

Frontline tours the nation talking to patients and representatives from the health insurance industry to answer the question: what's wrong with health care in America?  The insurance industry speaks for itself in this piece and they seem surprisingly on-board with reform. Frontline also produced a series about health care around the world, I haven't got around to watching yet.

Helene Jorgensen's 2008 book Sick & Tired: How America's Health Care System Fails Its Patients

This is personal story about one woman who contracted lyme disease and her battle to afford her medical bills and stay sane doing it. She open's with the story of Nikki White, which is also mentioned in the Frontline documentary. Jorgensen short, but well-researched volume highlights what I see as one of the biggest problems with the current system: conflicts of interest at nearly every level of health care delivery.

The Healing of America by T.R. Reid

I am late to the game on this bestseller from 2010, but, like the Frontline piece, it tours health care systems around the world, many of which serve as models for systems we already use, like Medicare and the V.A. health service. The book leaves you with the haunting question: how much inequity are we willing to tolerate when it comes to healthcare?

...Well, I hope this list helps to kill the last few hours before school starts up again. Many of the issues touched-upon will be big election-year talking points so we should all keep well-informed...

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