Health Disparities and Social Policy in the US

In my opinion, the health care system in the United States is just as convoluted and systematic as poverty. We are a country of obese, over worked, stressed out, and depressed Americans who live on pharmaceuticals and fast food which happen to be some of the very things that are killing us. Continuously increasing food portions, additives in our food, restricted access to exercise, and the overwhelming feeling of failure keeps us coming back to the ingredients that are killing us. America is owned by corporations and pharmaceutical companies who have a vetted interest in keeping us unhealthy so that we continue to use their products.  According to Business Wire (2019) “The U.S. weight loss market is now worth a record $72 billion.” The Health Line reports that 70% of Americans take at least one prescription and many people take more than one (2012).  As always, the government attempts to shift the blame on to the American people by labeling them as worthy verses unworthy or lazy verses driven “a number of groups of mothers and children would be defined as undeserving and ineligible of aid: teen mothers, those who refused to work, immigrants, and convicted drug felons” (Stern & Axinn, 2018). Because we are such a capitalistic country, issues such as, gaps in coverage, less coverage by employers, low paying jobs, poverty, unhealthy food options, high insurance cost, and health care expenses continue to worsen and the government will use these issues to divert our focus. “To many Americans, the image of a welfare recipient having additional children brought together all of the negative stereotypes of the poor—irresponsibility, promiscuity, dependency, and rising costs” (Stern & Axinn, 2018). As long as we continue debating with each other whether health care is a right or a privilege, nothing will change which is exactly what the people in power want.   Business Wire. (2019). https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190225005455/en/72-Billion-Weight-Loss-Diet-Control-Market Health Line. (2012). https://www.healthline.com/health-news/policy-seventy-percent-of-americans-take-prescription-drugs-062113 Stern, M. J., & Axinn, J. (2018). Social welfare: A history of American response to need. (9th ed.). New York: NY: Pearson.

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