Post- Poverty Policy Podcast
In the context of the US, to a considerable extent, healthcare policies contribute to inequality by creating barriers to access for specific populations. Notably, these influences include factors such as affordability, availability of healthcare facilities and services, and the distribution of resources. On the other hand, it is apparent that policies prioritizing private healthcare over public healthcare, for example, exacerbate inequality by limiting access to quality care for Americans who cannot afford it. Similarly, healthcare policies such as Medicaid that do not adequately address social determinants of health, such as poverty, education, and social support systems, increasingly perpetuate inequality in health outcomes. These policies fail to address the underlying causes of health disparities and do not provide sufficient support for marginalized communities.
Undoubtedly, healthcare and homelessness remain interconnected and significantly impact each other. Homelessness considerably contributes to increased health vulnerabilities, while inadequate access to healthcare results in homelessness, making it more difficult for individuals experiencing homelessness to improve their situation. Bedmar et al. (2022) posit that homeless people suffer from poor health and premature death resulting from limited healthcare access, primarily deprived of fundamental human and social rights. Thus, individuals encountering housing problems face adverse health problems resulting from deplorable living conditions. On the other hand, stable housing exists as a critical health determinant. Access to safe and affordable housing positively impacts health outcomes, reducing medical complications among populations. Therefore, policymakers and healthcare providers positively contribute to enhanced health outcomes by addressing housing instability.
Typically, discussions on poverty, inequality, and healthcare emerged as complex and diverse viewpoints that challenged my understanding of these influences. Engaging with these topics broadened my understanding, challenged my earlier preconceptions, and expounded on the magnitude of homelessness and healthcare interrelations. Generally, it is imperative to approach these discussions with an open mind, critically evaluating information from reliable sources such as podcasts from professionals in respective fields and considering different viewpoints, ultimately forming a well-informed perspective.
Bedmar, M.A., Bennasar-Veny, M., Artigas-Lelong, B., Salvà-Mut, F., Pou, J., Capitán-Moyano, L., García-Toro, M. and Yáñez, A.M., 2022. Health and access to healthcare in homeless people: Protocol for a mixed-methods study. Medicine, 101(7). https://doi.org/10.1097%2FMD.0000000000028816