Access to ongoing medical care is another way the rich are able to live longer. When they are struck by illness, they are able to go the doctor and manage their illnesses better. Wealthy individuals can purchase health insurance that provides access to experimental treatments, homeopathic care, and medicines that would otherwise be too expensive to purchase without insurance.
Wealthy people also seem to engage in fewer of the activities or habits that are considered to increase the risk of death such as smoking and excessive drinking. Smoking increases people’s risk of death by cancer or stroke. Excessive drinking has also been shown to increase death risk.
People who live in higher crime areas have higher rates of death due to violence at younger ages. Numerous studies have observed that having a lower income can adversely affect your life due to stress, health, and where you live.
Wealth enables people to proactively manage their health, plan for long-term care, and choose where they live. Proactive management of one’s health is an integral part of increasing the possibility of living a longer and healthier life. This is the unspoken benefit of being wealthy.
In 2010, the Affordable Health Medical Care Act, or Obamacare, was passed by Congress after a bitter battle concerning the bill’s cost to implement and manage across the 50 United States. Because of this bill millions of poorer Americans now have access to ongoing and preventative medical care. Preventative appointments covered by Obamacare include the following: prenatal services, some mental health related visits, and annual checkups that typically include: gynecological visits and more. Regardless of which side of the issue you find yourself, no one can argue that the number of people covered by some level of insurance has increased since the law’s implementation.
Many physicians, politicians, and advocacy groups are watching with great interest to see if having a comprehensive level of health care access makes a difference in longevity statistics and quality of life related measures over time. In order to measure the affect of the law accurately, it will likely take several years of data to create an accurate evaluation of the affect of the law on people’s longevity.
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