Economic Disparities In Health Care

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Sociologist David Williams states that all policies impact health policy. This is exemplified across a wide rage of policies in the US. These policies are flawed and corrupt, polarizing the nation racially and by socioeconomic status (SES) and resulting in great disparities in health. Although policy and law has evolved, presenting a more progressive and “color-blind” front, it remains an obstacle to ending disparities in health. Many of these policies, such as housing, environmental, and labor, are interconnected and have many aspects to them that affect health policy. In order to address racial and socioeconomic disparities in health policy, we must address the policies that contribute to this disparity. Housing policy greatly impacts health…show more content…
A prime example is Camden, NJ, which is home to 103 toxic locations as well a many poor minorities, a situation you would never see in an affluent white neighborhood. The remaining citizens do not have enough money to relocate, and in comparison to the corporate money from the toxic sites, they have no hope in buying back the politicians who allowed so many toxic corporations to operate there. Their lack of agency subjects these individuals to a variety of carcinogens among other toxins, forcing them to stay and watch as so many of their children develop asthma. Another example of how environmental policy impacts health is the situation in Flint, MI, where a careless switch to river water as the main water supply without proper environmental investigation resulted in the lead poisoning of countless residents, including children. Furthermore, the government tried to tell citizens that the water was fine and hide and discredit proof that said otherwise. This is another situation where the community was mainly people of color or people of low SES, but environmental precautions were not being carried out. Another environment with policies that affect health is the work…show more content…
These policies work together, keeping people of like ethnic backgrounds and SES residentially segregated in areas that suffer from a lack of resources and enforcement of environmental policies like in Camden, NJ or Flint, MI. Living in these areas reinforces the cycle of SES, limiting their socioeconomic mobility by providing poor public education, leading to a limited job market. Their lack of finances prevents them from seeking better homes, keeping them in the area. This area, due to its lack of resources, doesn’t have as many healthy food options and safe locations such as parks to exercise, reinforcing unhealthy behaviors. Furthermore, their lack of finances prevents them from buying healthy foods even if they were available as well as discourages them from seeking medical help when it is needed because it is so expensive. Also due to their limited job qualifications, they may find themselves working for places like McWane Corp, where their health and safety is sacrificed for corporate profit and they cannot leave for fear of permanent unemployment. These policies intertwine, creating a sticky web that traps individuals in low SES, a status that is riddled with stress and other health

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