According to Alsan and Bloom (2006), the economic performance and health performance of a nation are interlinked. For a start, wealthier countries have a healthy population. It is a proven fact that the national income has a direct impact on the growth of health systems, through public spending and insurance coverage. The World Health Organization Commission (WHO) did a survey in 1997 in 167 nations and found that health expenditures are determined primarily by the national income. From this perspective, countries with a weak health of the population find it tough to achieve sustained growth. For instance, the growing prevalence of chronic illnesses and new pressures such as the ageing population make a negative contribution to the economy due to the intensive use of vital but expensive health technologies by respective governments.
Steps to take to reduce the ImpactTo reduce the negative impact a weak health population has on the economy; there is the need to promote value for money in the health sector by raising the quality of care and ensuring universal access to medical care. Another approach is increasing taxes or total actual ban on alcohol and drugs. For instance, efficient fiscal systems mean that increase in taxes on alcohol and tobacco have had a positive impact on some nations such as Ireland. Alternatively, econometric studies suggest that improvements in nutrition and health account for almost 30% of the national growth (Alsan and Bloom, 2006). Therefore, it should be the primary goal of weak nations to improve maternal health, reduce child mortality, and combat serious diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS that adversely affect the economy.
How does Medicare and Medicaid Support Health of our Population?
The Affordable Care Act has led to opportunities and programs such as Medicare and Medicaid that improve the health care systems of all Americans. Medicare and Medicaid services are making considerable support to the cost of care. In particular, Medicaid is considered America's main public health insurance program. The coverage enhances access to care and covers a range of benefits. Medicaid also is the main source of financing and coverage for both community-based long-term care and nursing homes. Therefore, Medicare and Medicaid services support the population health in five different ways; long-term assistance care, health insurance coverage, Medicare beneficiaries, support for safety-net and the health care system, and state capacity health coverage (Paradise, 2015).
Alsan, M. & Bloom, D. (2006). The Consequences of Population Health for Economic Performance. harvard.edu. Retrieved 13 July 2016, from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/program-on-the-global-demography-of-aging/WorkingPapers/2006/PGDA_WP_13.pdf
Paradise, J. (2015). Medicaid Moving Forward. Kff.org. Retrieved 13 July 2016, from http://kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/medicaid-moving-forward/
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