Wealth Gap Equals Health Gap

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May 15, 2016 by Chris Kite

As the income gap in the United States has grown, so has the gap between how long the poor and the rich live.

In many parts of our country, the poor have life spans similar to people living in Rwanda. Think about that for a minute. Despite our wealth, our ability to provide good nutrition, and our cutting edge healthcare, many poor people in the United States of America live as short a life as someone in Rwanda.

This is a glaring example of the problems with the wealth gap in this country and it is a glaring example of the problems with the policies that leave the poor to fend for themselves with no assistance.

The lifespan gap between the richest one percent and the poorest one percent is 15 years for men and 10 years for women.

That is absolutely shameful!

But it isn’t just about access to healthcare. The rich live a healthier lifestyle with better nutrition, more exercise, less smoking, and less stress. That doesn’t seem hard to believe. Imagine trying to find time to exercise or do enjoyable things that relieve stress when all you can think about is how to feed yourself and your family and keep a roof over your head.

Those cities that provide the best healthcare support for the poor, and promote healthy lifestyles show longer lifespans for the poor. Again, that seems like a no brainer. But there are many, especially those on the right, that fight any attempts to promote healthier lifestyles. Often derided as the “nanny state,” these efforts are scoffed at as a waste of money and an attempt to try to control the population.

This report should be a wake up call. Especially for those that fight efforts to provide better healthcare, better nutrition, and healthier lifestyles for the poor.

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