The ideas of health care have changed tremendously in the past years. Health services are provided in many ways and the funding is now more accessible. Outstanding changes in public health have changed life over the past century. Health care became an area of concern as early as the 1900’s. It was during The Great Depression in the 1930’s when priorities changed with greater emphasis on unemployment insurance and “old age” benefits.
Between 1940 and 1950 President Roosevelt asked Congress for “economic bill of rights,” including right to adequate medical care and later on President Truman would offer a national health program plan involving a single system that would include all of ...view middle of the document...
In recent years we have seen health care costs rise at double the rate of inflation and over 44 million Americans, 16 percent of the nation have no health insurance at all. By June 1990, 139, 765 people in the United States have HIV/AIDS, with a 60 percent mortality rate (Grad, 981-984). Medicare is viewed by some as unsuitable and changing demographics of the workplace lead many to believe the employer-based system of insurance can’t last.
Recently in 2010, under the guidance of President Barack Obama, a Health Care Reform was passed indicating that over 32 million Americans who are uninsured will be covered and that the uninsured and self-employed would be able to purchase insurance through state-based exchanges with subsidies available to individuals and families with income between the 133 percent and 400 percent of poverty level (Pelosi, 2010).
All though the declaration signed in 1978 planned to have “health for all” by the year 2000, there are still more than 1 billion people living on less than one dollar per day (Oxford Press, 2001). Health services and modern medicines are still out of reach and many initiatives to improve the health of people in extreme poverty have been unsuccessful.
“People get sick because they are poor, and they also get poorer because they are sick,”
Dr. Nicole Seguy, medical coordinator in Cambodia for Doctors Without Borders.
At a minimum of US$30 to US$40, many people could lead longer, healthier, and more productive lives (Geneva:WHO, 2001). Evidence shows that the links between health, poverty reduction, and economic growth are compelling, confirming the popular notion that “health is wealth.”
Human, economic, and societal costs are evident is such countries as Cambodia where according to Dr. Seguy, 45 percent of Cambodian peasants who become landless have been forced to sell their land in order to cover medical expenses, making disease the largest single factor in the loss of agrarian livelihood. Many people living in the world’s poorest countries will not live to age 50. Preventable diseases such as diarrhea, measles, and malaria are still the leading causes of death. Furthermore, large health disparities between poor and rich countries are growing and the human, economic, and societal costs of ill health are immeasurable.
Children should be considered part of a countries plan for future success, but sickly children don’t grow into productive workers. Money consumed fighting diseases is money that won’t be spent on economic development. Ill health and lack of health coverage almost guarantees a gloomy downward spiral for poor countries as the loss of personal assets delivers a devastating blow to his or her own family and the society that is in need of great economic development.
Fig 1. Under-5 Mortality Rate
Statistics show that’s children ages 12 months to 23 months in the wealthiest quintiles are twice as likely as those in the poorest quintiles to have received all of the basic...