Wealth Disparities: Unraveling the Complex Links Between Income, Health, and Access to Care

Categories: Wealth

Poverty is responsible for people’s struggling with health issues; Health depends on wealth, the poorer a person is the shorter they live. People with low income are struggling with getting better healthcare and nutritious food. Although it is hard to afford healthcare and organic foods to better ones health, the government is at fault for helping those who need medication or just receiving some help in general, because everything is so expensive that it’s just hard to prevent bad health.

People with low income can only afford so much just to keep themselves healthy. Insurance could help in many ways by “...providing access to care and improving outcomes”.

Health takes an effect on the economy with people that have low income; low income Americans have a higher risk of getting stroke, heart disease or chronic conditions. The issues today involves that poverty has been a contributor to these causes or death and diseases due to the link between income and health.

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Around the whole world struggles with low income of health, statistics show that over 32 countries have low income. “Low income adults are more than three times as likely… to have trouble with… daily living” ( January 2020, Amadeo, Kimberly) and also children are more “likely to be obese and have elevated blood levels”.

In health, there is much evidence that social factors, including level of income and gender, determines how healthy a person is. Around the world today, most people can’t afford to provide basic necessities for themselves or their children due to the amount of money they make daily.

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For example, looking at statistic, a person that lives in a country like Sierra Leone makes an average income of about $0.03 cents in comparison to the U.S which makes $7.25. Another example is also life expectancy varies by a large scale in poorer countries. “In low-income countries, the average life expectancy is 62 years, while in high-income countries, it is 81 years. A child born in Sierra Leone can expect to live for 50 years while a child born in Japan expects to live 84 years.”

“Close to 1 billion people in the world live in slum conditions, representing about one quarter of the world’s urban population.” ( April 2017 Kari A.) That's why people work everyday to rehabilitate slums around the world. Evidence has shown that between employment and health that research examined the health of people that work for pay and those who don’t, are unemployed or lose their job. “Multiple aspects of employment—including job security, work environment, financial compensation, and job demands—may affect health” (Healthy People, Shain M) those who are unemployed have shown that they are less healthy than paid labor forces. In some parts of the world healthcare is free for other people and some people are able to get free medicine. The author’s theory of health vs wealth is extremely useful because it sheds light on the difficult problem of wealth equaling better healthcare.

Moreover, another factor that health correlates to wealth is that having people that live below the poverty line are unable to afford nutritional housing food or health care which in relation plays a role to an individual's behavior and outcome. This leads to an unhealthy lifestyle. Such as processed foods which leads to obesity, alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes. The level of stress for someone not making enough money or lack of insurance coverage are more likely to seek preventive care because of the cost; especially when a person doesn’t have health insurance.

“Lower-income people are still much more likely to be uninsured (26%) compared to higher-income people (4%). They are also much more likely to report delaying care, not being able to afford prescription medications, and experiencing problems paying medical bills relative to higher-income people.”(April 2015 , Peter J. Cunningham) In these circumstances, the higher someone’s in the earning bracket, the better their lifestyles are and their quality of life when it comes to being healthy. Also, this addresses the growing concern of drugs and alcohol leading to financial stress because of the wealth within our society.

The importance of wealth playing a major factor in our health is that the cost of living, prices of daily needs, and health coverage has risen, but the majority of people’s wages hasn’t reached or aligned to better support everyone financially. That primarily leads us to our social status. This is an issue because with most of the people who are burdened with large amounts of debt to pay such as student loans, personal and medical debt, they are likely to focus on their financial well being rather than being healthy. In today's society, there are three types of social status that everyone falls under. The lower class, middle class, and upper class.

Social status best describes the value of being wealthy because when comparing the upper class such as doctors, lawyers, those who hold political power gets treated differently when it comes to having the best health care treatment or other services to extend their life expectancy vs the lower class that can barely had second level education, makes minimum wage and can’t even afford to meet their basic day to day needs. “Nearly one in two sick Americans cannot afford health care, even those with health insurance;” (August 2018, Gomez A.) people who are sicker and need more care are the same people that don’t have health insurance to cover the bill. “But the insurance system as is doesn’t always help the most vulnerable,” (August, 2018, Gomez A.) even though these people need it the most since one is not able to better one's health.

This article states how income inequality has increased dramatically; life differences by income have grown. People with low income have less luxurious as people with higher income they are not able to have health insurance or get medication and ready access to specialty care. People with low income also have higher risks in behaviors such as smoking, obesity, and physical activity. “Between income and health is increasingly important,” wealthier people have better chances of helping their health if they did have a tobacco problem they would go to therapies. Poorer people also have a problem with obesity and chronic stress levels; they have less access to better and healthier food because it’s not in their budget so they get sweet foods or knock off which could contain lots of chemicals rather than getting natural foods such as organic wholesome foods that better their health.

Also people with low income are more likely to get fast food which could increase obesity, so they become lazy, not as active since they are around this unhealthy lifestyle. This source was helpful because it also talks about how even the races lifestyle is between health and wealth. The effects of how the races are different with how their health is because low income black Americans live a shorter life span than high income black Americans. Races may be more important than family income for future prospects. Researchers say that even if black American boys are born into a wealthy lifestyle they are more likely to become poor adults which is also true for white boys.

Also Hispanic Americans and Indian Americans have lower income and less educational opportunities compared to whites. “Race strongly influences other socioeconomic factors;” people of color could be affected so much by income affects them so much more than whites but most Americans with low income are white. This book talks about the “poorer you are, the shorter your life span is; and the richer you are, the longer you live.”(Poverty, Balkin, K) The article says that poverty is responsible for the premature deaths than smoking, heart disease and cancer. People who were in moderate physical and mental health had greater access than those of similar health but with poorer health. The article states that people without health insurance had a greater chance of dying in the hospital. So in this case the author states that with the lack of insurance may have created barriers to primary care that are much less likely to occur among privately insured.

Also talks about how dollars count more than doctors and that health gains could be made. But if the economy wanted to change the gap between the rich and poor, and transfer the money to the poor, people won’t do their job. But also researchers say by the views of it better educated people are healthier but then they researched more into it and found that health variation actually increased as the price of health fall, health care researchers say that universal health insurance may worsen health inequality over time. Healthcare researchers inputs that more insurance does not always equal better health; reductions in the price of health care or even the expansions in the overall demand for better health inputs, benefit the well educated.

Reducing the price measures the boost of the overall level of health investment, which could reflect on greater educated groups. The more education they are able to gain more experience on controlling more of their own health insurance;“more educated people are more productive at managing their own health” and life a long lifespan. After analyzing health insurance and health, there may be a small positive effect on health insurance of health outcomes, there are some cases that health insurance could not result improvements in health.

Updated: Jan 30, 2024
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Wealth Disparities: Unraveling the Complex Links Between Income, Health, and Access to Care. (2024, Jan 30). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/wealth-disparities-unraveling-the-complex-links-between-income-health-and-access-to-care-essay

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