A new study shows the connections between low income, poor health and overall inequality and how providing better access to quality health care—exactly what health care reform is all about—can improve more than just health.
Alexander Hertel-Fernandez of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) explains:
“In their new book, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger, epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett review the medical and sociological research that links inequality to poorer outcomes, not just in health but also for trust, political institutions, violence, social mobility and education.”
In other health care news:
• The Youngstown Vindicator reports that health care reform was the focus of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day forum, “Health Care as a Human Right.” Read more here.
• Last week, we pointed out how the private health insurance industry funneled millions of dollars into a U.S. Chamber of Commerce multistate ad blitz to kill health care reform. Jason Rosenbaum at Health Care for America Now (HCAN) found out the insurance companies got quite a bang for their buck. He calculates that viewers in a half-dozen key states saw the ads as many as 160 times, or three times a day.
Every day, voters were being bombarded with lies about health reform. These ads made preposterous claims like calling out “hidden taxes” in the health care bills where none exist. And they’re ubiquitous on the television screens of voters in these states. And all along, these voters didn’t know the insurance industry was behind these ads and was simply protecting its profits.
• Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts last night was not a rejection of health care reform, as Media Matters points out, citing election night polling by Rasmussen Reports that showed:
A higher percentage of Martha Coakley voters than Brown voters said that health care reform was the most important issue in determining their vote.
• As talks of the Wall Street-backed Brown’s possible victory grew, so did speculation of the fate of health care legislation. As a result, stock prices rose, says the Los Angeles Times, because the prospect of Brown’s win
eased concerns that profits at companies like insurers and drug makers would suffer.
What a surprise.