County Health Rankings Show People Living in Least Healthy Counties Twice as Likely to Have Shorter Lives than People Living in Healthiest Counties – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

March 28, 2014

The fifth edition of the County Health Rankings released today continues to show us that where we live matters to our health. Large gaps remain between the least healthy counties and healthiest counties. For instance, the least healthy counties have twice the death rates and twice as many children living in poverty and teen births as the nation’s healthiest counties.

A collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI), the County Health Rankings allow each state to see how its counties compare on 29 factors that impact health, including smoking, high school graduation rates, unemployment, physical inactivity, and access to healthy foods. The Rankings are available at http://www.countyhealthrankings.org.

via County Health Rankings Show People Living in Least Healthy Counties Twice as Likely to Have Shorter Lives than People Living in Healthiest Counties – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Heckman | Impact of Early Childhood Education on Adult Health

March 27, 2014

Published on March 27, 2014, in Science, research by Professor Heckman and colleagues at the University of Chicago, University College London, and Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina shows the potential of quality early child programs that incorporate health and nutrition to prevent disease and promote adult health.

via HEALTH RESEARCH | Heckman.


Pitfalls Seen in a Turn to Privately Run Long-Term Care – NYTimes.com

March 7, 2014

Even as public attention is focused on the Affordable Care Act, another health care overhaul is underway in many states: an ambitious effort to restrain the ballooning Medicaid cost of long-term care as people live longer and survive more disabling conditions.

At least 26 states, including California, Florida, Illinois and New York, are rolling out mandatory programs that put billions of public dollars into privately managed long-term care plans, in hopes of keeping people in their homes longer, and expanding alternatives to nursing homes.

via Pitfalls Seen in a Turn to Privately Run Long-Term Care – NYTimes.com.


Children from poor families more likely to be overweight or obese – The Washington Post

February 23, 2014

According to the 2011-12 National Survey of Children’s Health, families with the lowest incomes have the highest percentage of children who are overweight or obese.

via Children from poor families more likely to be overweight or obese – The Washington Post.


Can Upward Mobility Cost You Your Health? – NYTimes.com

January 5, 2014

What is it about upward mobility that undermines the health of these young Americans? In our studies, most participants are the first in their families to attend college. They feel tremendous internal pressure to succeed, so as to ensure their parents’ sacrifices have been worthwhile. Many feel socially isolated and disconnected from peers from different backgrounds. They may encounter racism and discrimination.

Some young people respond to the pressure by doubling down on character strengths that have served them well, cultivating an even more determined persistence to succeed. This strategy, however, can backfire when it comes to health. Behaving diligently all of the time leaves people feeling exhausted and sapped of willpower. Worn out from having their noses to the grindstone all the time, they may let their health fall by the wayside, neglecting sleep and exercise, and like many of us, overindulging in comfort foods.

via Can Upward Mobility Cost You Your Health? – NYTimes.com.


As ‘Bodega Clinicas’ Fill Void, Officials Are Torn on Embracing Them – Kaiser Health News

December 28, 2013

The so-called bodega clinicas that line the streets of Los Angeles’ immigrant neighborhoods blend into a dense forest of commerce. Wedged between money order kiosks and pawn shops, these storefront doctors’ offices treat ailments for cash: a doctor’s visit is $20 to $40, a podiatry exam is $120 and at one bustling clinica, a colonoscopy is advertised on an erasable white board for $700.

County health officials describe the clinicas as a parallel health care system, servicing a vast number of uninsured Latino residents, yet the officials say they have little understanding of who owns and operates them, how they are regulated and the quality of the medical care they provide. Staffed with Spanish speaking medical providers, few of these low-rent clinics accept private insurance or participate in Medicaid managed care plans.

via As ‘Bodega Clinicas’ Fill Void, Officials Are Torn on Embracing Them – Kaiser Health News.


Spending More and Getting Less for Health Care – NYTimes.com

November 22, 2013

the reason the richest country in the world doesn’t have the best health is because it takes more than health care to make a country healthy.

“These complex histories reveal an American tendency to funnel resources earmarked for health toward medical care,” the authors write. And “these historical realities make clear that Americans have been complicit in the creation of the current approach.”

via Spending More and Getting Less for Health Care – NYTimes.com.


Whats Killing Poor White Women?

September 4, 2013

For most Americans, life expectancy continues to rise—but not for uneducated white women. They have lost five years, and no one knows why.

via Whats Killing Poor White Women?.


The Work versus Welfare Trade-Off: 2013 | Cato Institute

September 2, 2013

The current welfare system provides such a high level of benefits that it acts as a disincentive for work. Welfare currently pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states, even after accounting for the Earned Income Tax Credit, and in 13 states it pays more than $15 per hour. If Congress and state legislatures are serious about reducing welfare dependence and rewarding work, they should consider strengthening welfare work requirements, removing exemptions, and narrowing the definition of work. Moreover, states should consider ways to shrink the gap between the value of welfare and work by reducing current benefit levels and tightening eligibility requirements.

via The Work versus Welfare Trade-Off: 2013 | Cato Institute.


Disability Shocks Near Retirement Age and Financial Well-Being

August 18, 2013

by Irena Dushi and Kalman Rupp

Using Health and Retirement Study data, the authors examine three groups of adults aged 51–56 in 1992 with different disability experiences over the following 8 years. Our analysis reveals three major findings. First, people who started and stayed nondisabled experienced stable financial security, with substantial improvement in household wealth despite substantial labor force withdrawal. Second, people who started as nondisabled but suffered a disability shock experienced a substantial increase in poverty rates and a sharp decline in median incomes. Average earnings loss was the greatest for that group, with public and private benefits replacing less than half of the loss, whereas the reduction in private health insurance coverage was more than alleviated by the increase in public health insurance coverage. Third, people who started and stayed disabled were behind at the baseline and have fallen further behind on most measures. An important exception is substantial improvement in health insurance coverage because of public safety nets.

via Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 3.


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