It’s not a complete shock that wealthy people who have access to better healthcare tend to be healthier than poor people. Last April, the Brookings Institution was able to take this one step further, and show that wealthy people live significantly longer than poor people, and that the gap is widening, especially among women.
As time goes by, medicine and technology advances naturally lead to increased lifespans from one generation to the next. A man born in 1950 is expected to lead a longer life than a man born in 1920. The exact change in life expectancy is what depends so heavily on income. A man in the richest 10% born in 1940 will live roughly 6 more years than a man in the richest 10% born in 1920, however a man born in 1940 in the bottom 10% will only live about 2 years longer than his 1920 counterpart.
The picture is worse for women, who will actually lead shorter lives in the bottom 40% than their counterparts born in 1920 will.
Now that we have the data, there’s still a question of how to address the disparity. Making healthcare more affordable and accessible to people of low-income is a step in the right direction, but stronger reforms will be needed to fix the gap entirely.