Modern Studies Social Inequalities in the USA - HEALTH
Introduction - health Unlike the UK, there is no NHS in the US. People pay for their treatment through private medical insurance, this causes problems for poor people. The two main private health insurance companies are Blue Cross and Blue Shield. These companies would charge a family of 4 living in New York over $12,000 per year to get full health and dental care. Poor people and people over 65 can get free treatment, but it is of a very low standard The two programmes are Medicaid (for people on low income) and Medicare (for over 65s).
Whites and Health in the USA Average life expectancy for men is 75. Average life expectancy for women is 80. 13.9% of White Americans cannot afford to pay for private health insurance. Access to private health insurance is often dependent on having a job e.g. Homer Simpson job provides his family with private health insurance. The infant mortality rate is 6 per 1000 births.
Asians and Health in the USA Average life expectancy for men is about 80, this is 5 years higher than White men. Average life expectancy for women is about 85, this is 5 years than White women. They have the lowest rates of death from AIDS and cancer. Self-disciplined lifestyle means there are low levels of drink or drug abuse. Strong family unit – teenage births are low. Main health problems are stomach cancer due to diet, tuberculosis and leprosy. 18% cannot afford health insurance
Blacks and Health in the USA 1 Average life expectancy for men is under 70. Average life expectancy for women is 75, 5 years shorter than White and 10 years shorter than Asian women. Higher rates of unemployment means Blacks are less likely to have access to private health insurance e.g. in January 2009 the unemployment rate for Blacks was 13.4%. 22% of Black Americans cannot afford to pay for private health insurance. The number of Blacks without private health insurance is increasing.
Blacks and Health in the USA 2 There are twice as many Black teenage mothers compared to Whites. The infant mortality rate is 13 per 1000 births, double the rate of whites. Obesity is a big problem in the Black community. Ill health linked to obesity includes heart disease and diabetes.
Hispanics and Health in the USA 1 Average life expectancy for men is 77, 2 years higher than for White men. Average life expectancy for women is 82, 2 years higher than for White women. 33% of Hispanics do not have access to private health insurance. The high number for Hispanics is because many moved to America to get a job but are illegal immigrants and do not have access to Medicaid or Medicare. The language barrier makes it difficult for them to access healthcare.
Hispanics and Health in the USA 2 Similar to young Black males, young Hispanic men are involved in gangs. Result is that the leading cause of death is also homicide and traffic accidents. Hispanic women are twice as likely to die from breast cancer as White women because they cannot afford to visit the doctor. Hispanics have higher rates of obesity, strokes, diabetes and cirrhosis (linked to alcoholism) than Whites. These problems are linked to lower income and living in poorer housing.
The President on Healthcare He has introduced universal health care coverage (means everyone will have access to healthcare). The Affordable Care Act (ACA) also know as Obamacare Aim is to cut the average family’s healthcare insurance bill by $2,500. Insurers must accept everyone and cannot charge sick people more. Everyone must take it out otherwise they will be fined. Those on low incomes will get help towards their payments
Questions 1.Explain the difference between the UK’s NHS and the current health care system. 2.What is health insurance? 3.Why do some people not have health insurance? 4.Who experiences inequalities in terms of their health? Provide examples 5.Do you think that American citizens should support the ACA?