Spreading the Health: Americans' Estimated and Ideal Distributions of Death and Health(care)

25 Pages Posted: 1 May 2020

See all articles by Sorapop Kiatpongsan

Sorapop Kiatpongsan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Michael I. Norton

Harvard Business School - Marketing Unit

Date Written: April 29, 2020

Abstract

The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act intensified debates over the role of government in the distribution of healthcare. A nationally-representative sample of Americans reported their estimated and ideal distributions of healthcare (unmet need for prescription medications) and death (gains in life expectancy). Respondents across the demographic and political spectrum wanted mortality and healthcare to be distributed more evenly among the rich and poor than they estimated them to be. For example, respondents estimated that Americans in the poorest quintile lived 1.5 months longer over the previous 20 years while those in the richest quintile lived 4.7 months longer, but reported ideal figures of 2.5 and 3.6 months – both were far more equal than the actual figures: -1.8 and 7.2 months. Despite heated debates about healthcare, Americans share a consensus belief that current disparities in death and healthcare are far from their ideals.

Keywords: health, healthcare, mortality, inequality, fairness, justice, equity

Suggested Citation

Kiatpongsan, Sorapop and Norton, Michael I., Spreading the Health: Americans' Estimated and Ideal Distributions of Death and Health(care) (April 29, 2020). Harvard Business School Marketing Unit Working Paper No. 20-114. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3588575 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3588575

Sorapop Kiatpongsan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Michael I. Norton (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School - Marketing Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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