Infectious Disease

AMA advocates for minimum wage policies to address adverse health effects of poverty

ADD TOPIC TO EMAIL ALERTS

Receive an email when new articles are posted on

Please provide your email address to receive an email when new articles are posted on . ” data-action=”subscribe”> Subscribe

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Back to Healio

Many Americans, including those working full-time jobs, are unable to afford essentials they need to remain healthy, according to the AMA.

Studies have found that income inequality is associated with an increased risk for mental illness, lower life expectancy, obesity, homicide, higher rates of infant mortality and more, the AMA said. Other research has shown that policy interventions that attempt to increase incomes in impoverished populations improve both health and economics.

Source: Adobe Stock.

“Simply put, decreasing poverty improves health,” David H. Aizuss, MD, to an AMA trustee, said in the release. “Too many people are working full-time jobs — sometimes more than one job — and are unable to rise above poverty wages. That must change.”

Poverty worsens health inequities because women and individuals from racial and ethnic groups are more likely to earn lower wages than men and white individuals, according to the release. Black and Hispanic people in particular “are disproportionately represented among minimum wage workers,” the release said.

The AMA adopted a policy during the annual meeting of its House of Delegates that advocates for efforts to adjust the minimum wage level to keep pace with inflation. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour, which equates to $15,080 per year. A single parent working full time at the federal minimum wage rate is unable to support a child above the federal poverty line, even though in 1968 the minimum wage was enough to keep a family of three out of poverty, according to the AMA.

“The COVID-19 pandemic created a concurrent public health and economic crisis that exposed and exacerbated access to care and other social inequities,” Aizuss said in the release. “Not only has the pandemic disproportionally impacted minoritized and marginalized communities, but economic insecurity, housing insecurity, and food insecurity have disproportionately burdened communities of color and other historically marginalized populations — all highlighting in stark relief the fact that people with low incomes have worse health outcomes.”

ADD TOPIC TO EMAIL ALERTS

Receive an email when new articles are posted on

Please provide your email address to receive an email when new articles are posted on . ” data-action=”subscribe”> Subscribe

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Back to Healio

Related Articles