A study of 14,800 Canadians—all of whom, it goes without saying, have access to the country’s universal, single-payer healthcare system—found that disparities in health outcomes between low- and high-income citizens are incredibly stubborn.
The research team concluded that lifestyle is often the decisive factor: “Our findings suggest the need to introduce large-scale preventive strategies early in patients’ lives to help change unhealthy behavior.” [See a slide show of 10 ways the GOP can take down Obamacare.]
Affordable Care Act booster Ezra Klein comments: “[T]he best way to make people healthier would be to get healthcare costs under control so there’s more money in the budget for things like early-childhood education and efforts to strip lead out of walls...”
And Affordable Care Act booster Matthew Yglesias comments: “Over the past 20 years, corporate compensation costs have been rising much faster than wages. That’s because employers are paying more for health benefits ... The fact that we keep defaulting in that direction reflects the political and social clout of the healthcare sector, but the evidence is pretty overwhelming that providing healthcare services is not a cost-effective way of promoting health. Most people would be better off with more money and less healthcare coverage.”
To which all I can say is: Now they tell us! [Check out a roundup of political cartoons on healthcare.]