The U.S. ranks poorly among OECD countries in life expectancy and infant mortality. There's a high, and growing, income inequality and we outspend our peer nations on health care. Not surprisingly, there are inequities in health, based on income, educational attainment, race, and place. These inequities, or at least the ones based on income and education, appear to be growing over time. Policies to improve material resources for the poor, support parents and especially children, early in life, and extend health insurance coverage have shown promise in reducing health inequities. In the big picture, however, fundamental structural issues in our society that shape people's opportunities are by far the most important. It's likely that the only way to achieve health equity, rather than simply reduce inequities, is to tackle and solve these structural issues.
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