The Effects of Poverty on Women's Access to Healthcare

1138 Words5 Pages
The constitution of the World Health Organization states that “The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition” (Koh and Nowinski 2010 pp 949). One would hope that this sentiment would also include the low income women of our society, however it has become a harsh reality amongst poverty stricken women that fair and affordable health care is difficult to provide for themselves and for their families. Women with an income below the federal poverty level are at a higher risk of being uninsured or under insured than the general population (Legerski, 2012). The inability to acquire adequate health insurance both privately offered and state funded, in particular can be a serious barrier to low income women's ability to seek health care (Magge, 2013). Furthermore poverty can cause some women to engage in dangerous “street involvement” causing health care providers to act with unjust prejudice in regard to their health care (Bungay, 2013). This paper will attempt to further address and justify these broad statements regarding low income women and their relationship to health care. It makes the argument that if we must see the highest attainable standard of health care as a fundamental human right than by not safeguarding our society’s impoverished women from these trials and tribulations are we not, as a country making a concession that low income women are less worthy or these rights? Approximately two-thirds of the uninsured in our country live in low income families, approximately 8.5 million of those are uninsured low income women, thus making up 19 percent of the uninsured populatio... ... middle of paper ... ...1-334. doi:10.1080/15544770902901809 Koh, H. K., & Nowinski, J. M. (2010, April 2). Health equity and public health leadership. American journal of public health. pp. S9-S11. doi:10.2105/AfPH2010.191379. Legerski, E. (2012). The Cost of Instability: The effects of family, work, and welfare change on low-income women's health insurance status. Sociological forum, 27(3), 641-657. doi: 10.1111/j.1573-7861.2012.01339.x Magge, H., Cabral, H., Kazis, L., & Sommers, B. (2013). Prevalence and predictors of underinsurance among low-income adults. JGIM: Journal of general Internal medicine, 28(9), 1136-1142. doi:10.1007/s11606-013-2354-z Mumtaz, Z., Salway, S., Bhatti, A., & Mclntyre, L. (2014). Addressing invisibility, inferiority, and powerlessness to achieve gains in maternal health for ultra-poor women. Lancet, 383(9922), 1095-1097. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61646-3
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