Home / health / Life Spans of the Rich & Famous

Life Spans of the Rich & Famous

Comments
/
/
/
1056 Views

I can’t wait to hear how poor people are supposed to bootstrap their way to longer life spans.

The poor are losing ground not only in income, but also in years of life, the most basic measure of well-being. In the early 1970s, a 60-year-old man in the top half of the earnings ladder could expect to live 1.2 years longer than a man of the same age in the bottom half, according to an analysis by the Social Security Administration. Fast-forward to 2001, and he could expect to live 5.8 years longer than his poorer counterpart.

New research released on Friday contains even more jarring numbers. Looking at the extreme ends of the income spectrum, economists at the Brookings Institution found that for men born in 1920, there was a six-year difference in life expectancy between the top 10 percent of earners and the bottom 10 percent. For men born in 1950, that difference had more than doubled, to 14 years.

For women, the gap grew to 13 years, from 4.7 years.

And I’m sure the Death to Obamacare Panel will become very affectionate with the following data. Because what’s the point of giving people access to health care if they’re gonna die anyway? Huh?

Limited access to health care accounts for surprisingly few premature deaths in America, researchers have found. So it is an open question whether President Obama’s health care law — which has sharply reduced the number of Americans without health insurance since 2014 — will help ease the disparity.

This is a helpful but incomplete statement.

At the heart of the disparity, said Elizabeth H. Bradley, a professor of public health at Yale, are economic and social inequities, “and those are things that high-tech medicine cannot fix.”

Yes, but in part because economic and social inequities give people higher on the socio-economic scale access to better health care. (And then there’s the whole ugly issue of bias in the medical community and the impact it has on patient care.) However, Bradley does (I think) acknowledge the fucking non-stop grind that is being poor in America. It doesn’t take a chickenshit cop or an evil, poison spewing corporation to create deadly levels of inequality.

And why oh why won’t the Obama Administration build a wall to stop Canadians from stealing the longer life spans of American citizens?

The experience of other countries suggests that disparities do not necessarily get worse in contemporary times. Consider Canada, where men in the poorest urban neighborhoods experienced the biggest declines in mortality from heart disease from 1971 to 1996, according to a 2002 study. Over all, the gap in life expectancy at birth between income groups declined in Canada during that period. And a study comparing cancer survival rates found that low-income residents of Toronto had greater survival rates than their counterparts in Detroit. There was no difference for middle- and high-income residents in the two cities. And a study comparing cancer survival rates found that low-income residents of Toronto had greater survival rates than their counterparts in Detroit. There was no difference for middle- and high-income residents in the two cities.

I can’t wait for President God King Cruz to start the bombing campaign.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
It is main inner container footer text