Providing medical care in impoverished areas can do more than just keep people healthy. It might also help people escape poverty, according to a new study. To determine potential root causes of poverty, researchers collected disease and economic data from 83 countries, from the most developed to the least. They found that poor people could be stuck in poverty if they lived in disease-ridden areas that lacked resources to fight illness. The authors said disease can act like a "poverty trap."
Class discussion: Could better health care reduce poverty in the United States? Why or why not? Can you find examples of disease causing poverty? Do you know anyone who cannot work because they suffer from disease? Do they have access to affordable medical care? Are nations with universal health care usually richer than nations with less health care? Or, is it just that wealthier nations can afford better medical care?