There is a lot of discussion about a recent study done in the late 1990’s that concluded that the life expectancy rate in American women is declining. On AmericaBlog.com readers are blaming Republicans and the current administration for the decline. I don’t understand why since the study was done before President Bush was elected. Anyway enough of my politics. I thought that this story would be fitting because most of my readers are women.
The study concluded that obesity and smoking were contributing factors to the decline. It also said that the most significant changes in the life expectancy occurred in low income communities such as Appalachia and the deep south. Could this be due to lack of health care? A lot of Americans would like the government to provide universal health care. But I don’t believe this is the answer. Now here I go putting my politics in my post again. I am trying very hard to leave politics out of this blog but sometimes it is too hard to avoid.
I believe that each state should take care of their poor. It is not up to the federal government to provide for everyone. I don’t believe in free hand outs either. These women who can not afford health care should be encouraged by the government to find employment that will provide health care for them and their family. I believe that welfare to work programs do work if implemented properly. In some of these areas of the country, however work is scarce. I don’t know what the government can do if anything to help bring jobs to these places.
Pete Davis goes into more detail about the socioeconomic differences in the life expectancy in the US in the Capitol Gains and Games Blog. He states that their is a bigger difference in the life expectancy rate for poorer Americans compared to the more well off. This difference is much larger than it was back in 1980.
What does this all mean for us as parents? What can we do about it if anything? Only you can influence your life expectancy and that of your children. Start with healthier habits at home. Cut back on the sweets and encourage your kids to exercise more. Make certain that you have good health care. It shouldn’t matter if you have health insurance from your employer or government assistance. Make it a priority to get the maximum coverage that you can afford for your family. Choose a doctor wisely and make sure you get routine check ups. Make sure your kids have their immunizations updated. If you don’t have health insurance check with your counties assistance program and find out where there is a free immunization clinic that you can take your children to. Exercise, eat right and show a good example for your children. Maybe once the US becomes more economically stable these figures will change.
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