NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Health Status Related to Income, Not Insurance

May 3, 2016

An extremely thorough analysis of changes in incomes and mortality in the United States, 2001 through 2014, demonstrates how important incomes are to health status, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham. Forty-year old men in households in the highest quartile of income (mean = $256,000 annually) had an average life expectancy just under 85 years in 2001. This increased by 0.20 years (a little over ten weeks) by 2014. For those in the lowest quartile ($17,000), life expectancy was about 76 years in 2001, and it only increased 0.08 years (a little over four weeks) by 2014. Obamacare is likely to accelerate this gap, because it significantly reduces incentives for people in low-income households to increase their incomes.


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