Here are some of the ways employers can help their workforce to be healthy: provide healthy lunch meals, Vit C supplements and drinks, free 15min back massage, free trips to nature walks (Bus tours with family during weekends), ergonomic standing desks and chairs, rewards for enrolling in healthy gym classes (cross fits, aerobics, yoga, dance lessons), rewards for losing extra weights, a grocery bag of farmer’s market veggies (once a month or week), affordable housing, free college, $15min wage per hr, access to family planning or planned parenthood, rewards for 2-child per household and subsidized day care in or near work location.
Connie Dello Buono
MISSED OPPORTUNITIES TO ENSURE HEALTHY AND PRODUCTIVE LIVES
Not all Americans have access to the benefits of modern medicine. In fact, access to health care has seriously eroded over the last seven years. In 2006, 47 million people were uninsured, an increase of 8.6 million from 2000.7 The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has concluded that the most important determinant of access to health care is adequate health insurance coverage.
Loss of health insurance coverage has been most marked among lower-income
workers.9 Only 22 percent of adults under age 65 in families with incomes of $20,000 or less had coverage through an employer in 2006, down from 29 percent in 2000.
Employer-based coverage in the next higher income category—under $37,800 annually—declined from 62 percent in 2000 to 53 percent in 2006.
Failure to provide health insurance to all has a price—to both the health of Americans and to our economy. The IOM estimated that 18,000 deaths of adults ages 25 to 54 in 1999 occurred as a direct consequence of being uninsured.10 A more recent update of that study by Stan Dorn at the Urban Institute puts the toll in 2004 at 20,000 deaths, making it the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. for working age adults.11
The IOM projected that the aggregate, annualized cost of uninsured people’s lost capital and earnings from poor health and shorter life spans falls between $65 billion and $130 billion for each year without coverage.
High Performance Health System National Scorecard found that 63 percent of insured children had preventive visits in 2003, compared with 35 percent of uninsured children.
Investing in children’s health by ensuring access to care and insisting on high standards of care, such as regular screening for developmental and behavioral delays in young children, is important to detecting conditions early and helping children reach school age ready to learn.
Gaps in health insurance coverage and financial barriers to care are the most important reason children and adults fail to receive preventive care. But even insured adults and Medicare beneficiaries often fail to receive beneficial care. Less than half of
American adults age 50 and older are up to date with preventive care; the percent ranges from 50 percent in Minnesota to 33 percent in Idaho.16 If all states reached the levels achieved among the top-ranked states, almost 9 million more older adults would receive recommended preventive care. Control of chronic conditions also varies from state to state. If all states performed at the rate of the best states, almost 4 million more diabetics would receive care to help prevent disease complications. Ensuring that all Americans receive care from a regular source of care that is accountable for ensuring that patients receive all appropriate preventive care and care of chronic conditions would improve health and productivity, as well as reduce disparities in care.
In short, we often fail to realize the benefits of the best of American medicine.
Quality of care is highly variable across geographic regions and across different populations.