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Money matters for better health and longer life

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Canada's income gap may be a shadow of America's, but the rich-poor divide is no less on its mind. In a project called "The Wealth Paradox," Globe and Mail shows the results of income disparities on every sector of Canadian society, including health.

"Even in Canada, where healthcare is supposed to be one of the great equalizers, low-income earners are less likely to have a family doctor and to seek early treatment for medical problems," the study finds. The poor have higher medical costs, more lost productivity, and poorer health in Canada and everywhere else. Wealthy Canadian men were found to have a 72.8 percent chance of living to age 75, compared with 50.1 percent at the lowest income levels. 

The Affordable Care Act now requires that mental health be covered with parity to physical health, just as in Canada, most medical plans cover psychiatrists. But because the wait is long and cost high, low wage earners delay getting help or do without. Despite a healthcare system designed to cover everyone, mental illness costs the Canadian economy about $50-billion a year, reports the Globe and Mail. Read more.

 

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