W2 Activity: In Sickness and In Wealth

I actually didn’t do so well on the Health Equity quiz as I got more questions wrong than correct. (Opps!) The most surprising statistic was that U.S. life expectancy ranks only 29th in the world. My understanding is that we’re considered one of the most developed countries with state of the art technology and science to combat diseases and have good health. However, that does not seem to be the case. Another statistic that stood out to me was recent Latino immigrants, though poorer, have better health than the average American. It just sounds or seems like an outlier, as it doesn’t support the original theory, which is Caucasians from a higher class, have the best “health” in comparison.

One of the case studies that I watched and felt was worth of discussion was actually the first episode, which was “In Sickness and In Wealth.” This episode looked into the hierarchy based on accessibility to health services in Louisville, Kentucky. So does someone’s job or background influence if one is healthy or ill? And yea it does matter actually. Based on the episode and from what I understood that the general consensus was that an individual from a higher socioeconomic status live healthier and longer lives in comparison to people who are living at a lower socioeconomic status, as they got sick more often. This is all because of access to availability of resources. Health care in America, unfortunately does not stand by it’s motto which land of the free. Health care and its facilities can be pricey and in addition, it does not help when there’s a huge wealth gap in America. There was a mother who living off a very low income and it discussed how she started developing all these health-related issues especially when she first lost her job. She has now been diagnosed with hypertension There was also some racial disparity discussed in the episode and revealed that “African Americans die earlier and have higher rates than whites of many chronic diseases across the social gradient.

4 thoughts on “W2 Activity: In Sickness and In Wealth

  1. Hello Mariam,
    The health disparities that those facing poverty and oppression are presented with are no surprise to me. There are several factors that we must consider before offering solutions. The political factor is an obvious issue that has been addressed by several presidential administrations and finally we have been able to provide the poor with affordable healthcare with the Affordable Healthcare Act/Obamacare. I do think it’s the responsibility of the government to make sure that all citizens of the United States can at least receive healthcare. That seems like a basic right. Government initiated policies, laws, and programs should be put in place for healthcare to be accessible to everyone. Medical treatment is most times beyond the income of those who are sick. Now why does poverty equate to illness? That s because to be poor is to have the most basic things necessary to live and everything else is extra. Healthy eating, habits, prevention screenings, and awareness are beyond what someone who is poor can be concerned with like someone more affluent may be able to do. So, it is the responsibilities of public servants to provide resources that the poor would not otherwise acquire.
    Regards,
    Victoria

  2. I found your post to be very informative, and interesting, and I have to agree, there is a problem with our health care system. Everyone is created equal, so doesn’t that mean that all people should have the right to the same medical care? I believe so. How someone goes about making that possible, I do not know (considering I have no background in public policy). It may be hard to give everyone equal health care, but what it is not hard to do is teach people how to be healthy. A lot of illnesses that are dealt with on a daily basis are chronic illnesses, that are caused by high blood pressure, cholesterol, and overall poor care of one’s self. I believe that through education we could teach individuals of ALL socioeconomic statuses to be healthy. By implementing classes inside of the school system that aren’t just based on exercise, and rather touch on how to eat right, and maintain healthy vitals. Education, I believe is a very under utilized tool, and if it is used properly, can reach a widespread number of people. To touch on the political aspect of health care they would have to somehow create a system where every single person can qualify for health insurance, because right now there are a select group of individuals who don’t make enough for private health care, but also make too much for government help. That needs to be changed.

    With all of that being said, I believe that parents, teachers, doctors, and the government are responsible for these changes. It is the responsibility of the parents to look out for their children, as well as the teachers. As for doctors and the government, I believe they need to work together to develop policies that don’t discriminate against specific groups of people, and instead help everyone.

  3. Hey Mariam, great post!
    Accessibility to health services is something that is becoming more and more of a problem in the United States. In my opinion there is no quick fix to this problem, our healthcare system has many problems in it, not just accessibility. The system needs an overhaul to make it more efficient in every way. When I say that we need an overhaul everyone’s first thought is that I am talking about free healthcare, but this doesn’t have to be the way. America is losing money in its healthcare system in so many different ways that a redesign for the modern day would eliminate many of the problems. For example many poor people go into the ER when they have a problem instead of the family doctor. The ER can’t turn them away and so the ERs are filled with cases that are not emergencies. This is a very inefficient system that should be fixed. Wealth disparity in America is an obstacle and so are the high prices of drugs and procedures. Those same drugs and procedures cost significantly less in other countries. All I am trying to say is that the huge debate on healthcare is very black and white, but revamping the system to improve efficiency and accessibility can improve healthcare while seeing little to no changes in cost. Much of these problems are systematic and so change is going to have to start in high places like public health officials and the government. That is not to say that doctors and locals have no affect, if you make your voice heard or vote for a congressman you believe in you can help make a difference.

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