Technological Advances Create Digital Divide in Health Care
The rising cost of healthcare has become a bone of contention in America. Technological advances in the healthcare industry have become the catalyst in the medical divide that has widened the gap between the wealthy and the poor in the United States. A digital divide is defined as “the gulf between those who do and those who don’t have access to modern information and communications technology such as cell phones, personal computers, and the Internet.”(Reynolds, 2010) The advent of telemedicine is an important factor in the attempt to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor around the world.
The disparity between the healthcare services of the rich and poor is in direct relationship to the income levels of both sectors, respectively. Lower socio-economic status has been linked to poor health in recent studies pertaining to the relationship between poverty and health. In the United States, the digital divide has risen substantially due in part to income inequality. According to epidemiologist, Michael Marmot, “Each step up or down the socio-economic ladder correlates with increasing or decreasing health.” The United States does less to redistribute income than other developed democratic countries in the effort to bridge the gap between the rich and poor, thus the poor get sicker and die sooner than the rich.
Those individuals that are unfortunate enough to reside at the bottom of the income ladder are forced to utilize social assistance provided by the government. This assistance is dependent upon federal spending habits which change with each administration. Federal spending is generally pro-wealthy in regards to tax rates with the middle class and the poor carrying most of the burden. Tax monies are disproportionately distributed, with the rich paying a significantly less amount of taxes in comparison to other income groups. ” The loss of tax progressivity over the last several decades means...