Poor people die earlier than rich people
The German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) and the Robert Koch Institute found in a study on life expectancy in Germany that men from low-income households in particular have a lower life expectancy. Men with a household income of less than 60 percent of the average income in Germany live about five years less than rich men. There were smaller, but significant, differences in women. Women who live in poor households live about three and a half years less than rich women.
The coordination of Saarland unemployment initiatives (KSA) described the established context between poverty and life expectancy as "absolutely conclusive". In many places it can be observed through the Health Structure Reform Act that recipients of Hartz IV benefits or generally poor people shy away from visiting a doctor. According to the initiative, there is, on the one hand, a lack of money for co-payments for medicines and, on the other hand, the practice fee, which is due quarterly, is also a deterrent.
"Particularly at the end of the quarter, there is no doctor's visit, since many unemployed people have to pay a double practice fee if they continue their treatment. Glasses can no longer be purchased because the costs significantly outweighed the financial possibilities of the long-term unemployed and generally poor people," said KSA Association Chairman Manferd Klasen . It is therefore not surprising that people with a low income are more often involved in accidents. It has been known for a long time that financial problems and concerns about the professional future put a heavy strain on the psyche. This also significantly increases the suicide rate.
To at least remedy the financial consequences of illnesses, according to Klasen, "a general and complete exemption from health costs for the poor and unemployed is urgently necessary". Because the current regulations, "according to which people receiving social benefits are as strongly asked to pay as well as those with good earnings, ultimately lead to poorer health and a lower life expectancy. This is a scandal that has so far been little noticed!" Another study found that Hartz IV recipients are more often chronically ill. (sb)
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