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Poverty in the United States of America is the earning of household income of below 60% of the contemporary median (Berthoud and Zantomio 44). The effect of income poverty and associated health challenges in the United States of America is brought by inequality in income distribution as well as poor choices of careers. In addition to wrong or non-dynamic career choices, certain groups of people tend to lag behind in terms of change. The world is changing to digital era by embracing top technology; therefore, manual work that some groups of people assume to be well paying is being replaced by various forms of work depending on the use of mind rather than muscle (Blanchflower and Oswald 52).
The groups of people mostly affected by poverty in terms of income poverty and associated health challenges include the aging people that are almost entering the retiring age, non-English speakers, and children (Blundell et al 492; Brewer et al 79). Whether, for citizens or investors in the United States of America, the spoken language is a contributing factor to the type of life one would lead. Children are dependent on their parents for education and provision of other basic needs. Healthy food t, clothing, and quality education are necessary for healthy growth of children. Failure to achieve all these renders masses of children as poor (Brewer, Browne, Joyce, and Sibieta 113).
The most widely watched groups of people living in the US and considered relatively poor lives below the 60% household incomes of the modern-day median. A study carried out between the start of 2009 and the end of 2010, showed that the number of people living below the above poverty line was declining without consideration of raising the amount of renting and buying houses. The Ministry of Labor of the US announced that a drop in the relative poverty from 19.4% to 17.1% within the period of 1996-97 had been achieved, while an increase had been registered from 17.1% to 22.2% from 1997 to 2010. Whichever way the statistics from labor indicates, the issue of health seemed to be constant as many as 17% of the American population struggle with health issues in terms of settling bills and consulting doctors for their medical conditions.
“The relative growth and fall of the number of people faced with poverty in the United States of America are because of shaky economic and financial variables” (Adam and Browne 65). Considering the recession of 2009 -2010, many issues including unstable exchange rates between the dollar and other major currencies were faced (Atkinson 62). As people trade their shares in the stock market, the unstable currencies cost them their merchandise, while at the same time, companies on the receiving end incur loses to be burdened by shareholders. Loss after loss of invested money translates into child poverty and, as a result, income poverty and losses incurred contribute to substandard living conditions. It is not only the organizations and investors affected by collapsing markets; as the exchange rates fall, the cost of health goes up. To respond to some of these issues, organizations relieve employees of healthcare allowances to cut on their spending (Brewer, Goodman and Leicester 161).
Health is among the crucial basic needs of a human being and its quality is achieved through attaining nutritional value, balanced diet, and proper health care and Medicare planning. The poor or the poverty-stricken people are faced with the challenge of getting proper health care, because they do not have the means to cater for the services and cost of health living. This factor goes a long way to include malnutrition for children, therefore, contributing to child`s poverty.
The government of the United Kingdom has highly prioritized the eradication of child poverty through policy proposals for meeting the 2020 targets. In the proposed policies, the government suggested increase in employment in order to beat the challenge of income poverty and associated health challenges. As a product of income poverty, child poverty has been prioritized and would be met through income security. This way parents and guardians of the children would have enough money to cater for their children’s basic and health needs (Brewer, Goodman, Shaw and Sibieta 104).
How Can Practitioners Deal with the health Issues?
There are several issues how poverty in the United States of America may be yielded; some of these include the issue of health and child poverty. Among other related issues is the one of insecurity, which threatens both the health and lives of the Americans. When dealing with these issues, it is noteworthy for professionals and right practitioners to be consulted as to what can be done regarding this issue. One social group or department of the government cannot address the degree and nature of poverty and the issues it brings to the community. As argued by Atkinson (1999), poverty is a recurring independent variable whose effects not only rotate around the lack of funds to cater for needs, but also the issue of inconsistency within professionals who can handle it (Attanasio, Battistin, and Ichimura 122).
Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labor, doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, career counselors - all have a responsibility to play in this issue of poverty. It is the same group of professionals that will have to fix the problem of poverty. This group of professionals may not have the mechanism to render poverty eradicated, but all of them are able to take to ease the issue of health.
The statistical board of the United Kingdom is responsible for informing the government on the issues that are affecting common citizens. In this regard, the Minister of Health has an obligation to make sure the population that the Ministry of Health is taken care of people in terms of making proposing acceptable policies to the Parliament (Cabinet Office 36). The type of policy that would make sense and cater for the health issues of the citizens of the United States of America would be a tax relief for people earning less than 20,000 sterling pounds per year (Berndt, and Hulten 94). Comparing this number with the benchmark of 34,000 US Dollars wealthy standard, the tax relief would heighten the living standards of the people. Considering the Minister of Health would push for this, the concerned ministries would be directed to see the move sail through. The impact of this move would be to make the lower class earners able to cater for their needs, especially the health issues that seem to be problematic for a vast majority of the American citizens (Browne, and Phillips 77). In addition, there are numbers of people that would not be able to make it out of the health predicament they are in by tax overhaul. For this lot, a proposal by the minister to have health insurance cover for government employed citizens and employee-employer contribution to health the same would bail at least 12 percent of the 17 percent struggling masses (Berthoud, and Zantomio 159).
Occupational therapists help people deal with their work related issues such as lack of motivation, overtime work, balancing work and personal life, and assessing occupational choices. “For the poor, affording this kind of therapy sessions would be costly considering that most of these people struggle with basic needs” (Brewer et al. 125). As a voluntary or government steered initiative, occupational therapists could hold quarterly free therapy sessions to sensitize the community on the issue of maximizing output and making enough money to cater for both personal basic needs and health issues associated with income poverty (Merino 137).
Doctors argue that economy challenges are faced by every sector, when economic collapse happens. For this reason, issues like inflation lead to increased medical cost for health and medical care. “If the price for medication and equipment goes up, it is justified for doctors to raise the cost of medical intervention” (Brewer, et al. 131). To address the issue of poverty in the United States of America, doctors in health and social settings could come up with a mechanism that reduces the medical bills for the poor. A mechanism like the reduction or abolishment of consultation fee would minimize the amount required for moderately earning client for medical cover. As a result, the group of people living below the 60% household income line would be in a better position to cater for their medical bills (Lyon-Callo 184).
Consider the need for care for the aged and chronically ill people; if this lot comes from the poor background the needed care may not be given to them, hence increasing their chances of deteriorating health (Bruhn 144). From ethics of health care and health care justice, this group of poor people in need of care may not have the right to access care, if they cannot pay for it. However, the nursing fraternity should, by using ethics of care and health care justice, volunteer to provide this care. Hospitals and care homes may not have the space needed to accommodate this people neither will the schedules of some nurses; therefore, remote assistance and care can be provided as a means of keeping the lives of this group as comfortable as possible, despite of the prevailing problem of poverty. It is not simple for individual nurses to realize the situation of the poor and thrive to take care of it on their own. Poverty is a statement that a certain group of people belonging to a certain social class may use to describe people living in poor conditions. Having proper investigation from the government, nurses from all over the United States of America would be notified of the situation of the poor and their challenges of meeting their health needs. From the obligatory duty, assigned to them by occupational responsibility, nurses to tackle the undesired incidences can address health issues in health care and social settings brought about by poverty (Berthoud, and Zantomio 108).
Career counselors are professional potential assessors whose work is to direct or advise people on the right path of career they should follow in regards to their personal potent. Career choices have had a lot to do with income poverty for many American citizens end up choosing careers they are not passionate with. To reduce the issue of income poverty and the associated issues of health, insecurity, low quality education, and child poverty, career advisors should hold seminars to respond to the government’s call of realizing vision 2020. By so doing, people earning less than the 60% of the median would start earning more hence satisfying their human wants (Lyon-Callo 212)
Settling for the Best Option
With numerous choices on the solutions to the problem of unemployment and earning of very little salary, the US government may not be the right body to turn to, but rather the people themselves. The choice of careers is one of the problems that have driven American citizens to poverty and to deal with it, occupational therapists and career counselors can be utilized to help people shape their career professions in time. As a result, the number of people living below the poverty line would be limited to a few, and in time, if these options are implemented, poverty can be eradicated. Therefore, poverty being the cause of problems such as health, housing, education, and security would automatically be dealt with, if the problem of salary was fixed.
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