In Sickness and In Wealth

I received a 3/10 on the Health Equity quiz. I was surprised at how off I was on some of the statistics and how much I needed to be further educated on these subjects. The quiz really opened my eyes to things that are going on in the world outside of our culture. I found it shocking that half of all health care dollars in the world are spent by the U.S.  I found this shocking that the U.S. has possession of so much money for healthcare yet some citizens are still not receiving healthcare at all. There is a huge controversy going on in our country concerning health care so this really opened my eyes and made me question where all this money is really going.

 

I chose to discuss the documentary In Sickness and In Wealth. The documentary discusses income in correlation to ones health. Certain health disadvantages were common if not doubled in lower class societies. Some of these health risks common in low class societies included heart disease and obesity. The video really made an emphasis on how changes in social environment can change ones health circumstances. Just because a country may be more developed does not mean that all it’s citizens are receiving equally the best health care. It really depends on the individual’s wealth.

 

Social status and income play such a large part in health treatment. Those who are wealthy enough can have availability to the best health care. Getting regular visits to the doctor and treatment whenever needed is key to being healthy. Those with a larger income can also afford to eat better food, such as fruits and vegetables, that are much more expensive. Someone with a lower income may not only have worse healthcare, but are also more stressed out, causing their health conditions to be worse. Wealth plays a major role in health circumstances, so those who are capable of receiving proper health care are very lucky.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Cheyenne Benyi says:

    Its good that the quiz made you realize that this is happening outside of our culture. I think that is probably why most people had such a low score on this quiz. Most likely, most of us only thought about our own culture while answering these questions, me included.

    I think it is pathetic that our health care depends on how wealthy a person is. You are completely right here, just because a country is more developed than others, does not mean that health care is equally divided among all citizens of that country. It is just not right at all. Its also interesting that you mentioned that a person with a higher income can afford to eat healthier food. Why is it that the cheapest foods are the foods that are horrible for you. Honestly, you can go to McDonald’s and eat a whole meal for less than five dollars, but it is horrible for your body. Also, I am a strong believer that stress causes physical harm. Some people don’t think so, but stress plays a major role on health conditions. You are understating when you said those who are capable of receiving proper health care are lucky. It would be a miracle if the US ever had equal health care for everyone.

  2. Justin Kenton says:

    Hello!
    Home income correlated to health and life expectancy is very strong and shocking to think about in a manner of speaking. As you pointed out, the United States spends such a tremendous monetary value on our healthcare system and yet there are people left out of the mix and the level or quality of the healthcare is so different based on income. Something that I find to be rather interesting to think about would be to look at other countries and their quality of living and their life expectancy and compare that to the U.S.

    Another couple things to consider would be diet as well as stress levels. The typical American diet is awful and packed with so much unnecessary sugar. If we were going to compare other countries it would be worthwhile to see the differences in diets and associated stress levels. I am personally convinced that if America cleaned up its diet and slowed down just a tad, then life expectancy and quality of living would increase and the amount of money spent on our healthcare system would decrease also. This might not necessarily directly change the fix the issue concerning the issue with correlating wealth and health, but indirectly could make a difference in the overall health of all income brackets and eliminate many health concerns, thus leveling out the correlation in some way. This solution is more individually based because it takes an individual to make a change in their own health, but then again it is also politically based because it would require government intervention to some extent to help promote diet change. I am not advocating that the government takes control of the situation, but provides people with education about making healthy food choices.

  3. Nick Flaga says:

    The health quiz also pointed out how the top one percent in our country holds 90 percent of the wealth. If health is strongly correlated to wealth, we can assume in the past 30 years that Americans have become less healthy as our society has become more unequal. The health of our nation has economic repressions that will negatively impact everybody, including the top one percent holding 90 percent of the wealth. As Americans become less healthy, they become less productive.

    I believe as a society we must provide universal health insurance through the federal government. This system would alleviate concerns of health care and cost to those who are economically challenged. However, we must reform our health care system in a way that also increases quality of care, and efficiency while reducing cost. I do not believe it would be advantageous to provide health insurance to 30 million Americans who currently do not have insurance without preparing the system first. Without an adequate number of facilities and doctors to support the dramatic increase in prospective patients, the quality of care would decrease for everybody.

    The positives of universal health insurance in the USA would be the ability of economic disadvantaged citizens to have access to quality healthcare. If the reform is not correctly implemented the quality of care and efficiency would decrease for everybody.

  4. Joseph Wallace says:

    Hey! Just like you were, I was surprised by the various statistics in the health equity quiz. I found it interesting how much we spend on healthcare yet we rank so low in terms of life expectancy, and that some people still don’t receive care! This also made me wonder where all the money goes! Regardless, I feel as though this demonstrates the necessity of a change in where it does go. I believe that a large amount of money should go towards prevention and education towards disease. In terms of correlation between social status and income playing a role in treatment, I totally agree with you as well. I think that there needs to be some change in this as well. The large amount of money that we spend and the amount of people that still do not benefit is mind boggling. I am a supporter of universal health care. I spent some time in Peru last summer, and during my stay I was able to observe their healthcare system. Whether or not you had insurance, you were always able to be treated. If our government were to make this change, I feel that our nation would benefit. That being said, I believe that citizens should be held responsible for making life changes in order to comply with a policy of universal healthcare as well.

  5. phill612 says:

    Hi,
    The relationship between household income and availability to health care most likely is not a surprise to an informed citizen of the United States. However, I believe that the gap between the higher and lower income life expectancies and all the secondary aspects of low income lifestyle impacting health such as stress is the most shocking to me. The amount the United States spends on health care is absolutely astronomical and the defeating part of it all is that our population isn’t as healthy as it should be with the amount of funds being used. In another class I learned that this is because most of our nations monetary expenditures in terms of health are placed in tertiary care; meaning that it is spent caring for those who are already sick instead of preventative measures. If more of an importance was placed on preventative medicine instead of treatments the health disparities may not be as significant as they are today. However, this would require a change in society’s attitude toward health and taking preventative measures for a healthy lifestyle. Most people don’t believe diseases such as cancer and diabetes will affect them so they don’t eat properly or they continue to smoke cigarettes or drink large quantities of alcohol, just as a few examples. I realize that this won’t fix the current situation overnight but if small changes were enacted even on the individual level it would create an impact. I believe to have equality in medicine there needs to be a change in the attitude of our society first. The government could enact bills and take on yet another social responsibility but if people aren’t willing to change their viewpoint on the matter or have the means to then the current situation can never be resolved. This issue has many different components that need to be considered to come up with a practical solution.

  6. obrienry says:

    In your post you talked about how regular visits to the Doctor and getting treatment whenever needed is the key to being healthy. I agree with this and I believe that a way to insure that people all over of all different socio-economic backgrounds have the opportunity to visit the Doctor is to establish more free and/or low cost clinics and pharmacies all over. In doing this, it would allow for people who are not currently fortunate enough to see the Doctor to develop more healthy lifestyles. This solution is more of an economical one in that it would lower the debts that people owe to the healthcare systems if there were places that were more affordable in these lower income areas.

    The government would be responsible for establishing these lower cost clinics and pharmacies. Some of the pros to doing this is having more health conscious and healthier citizens in the long run, as well as the potential decrease in debts owed to hospitals and/or healthcare systems. On the other hand, some of the cons to this would be people abusing these clinics/ pharmacies, and also would require the government dishing out a significant amount of money in order to keep these places open.

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