Thursday, September 24, 2009

Homelessness and health care

Holy crap:
A ground-breaking demonstration in Chicago showed that providing housing and supportive services to chronically ill homeless people could reduce health care use by one-third. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that housing and social services could more than pay for themselves in reduced medical costs.
The provision of housing and support for the homeless is in any case a moral imperative. Not that this matters. But now it turns out that it's also a good idea in narrower economic terms.

Then again, I recently saw a clip of a woman condemning health care reform on the grounds that it would help out illegal immigrants... and then revealing that her own husband works 4 jobs, but still lacks health care. There are not a few who would sooner withhold help from those whom they consider undeserving, than see things improved for everyone, including themselves. I suppose the homeless are just looking for a free ride--and what's more important than spiting them?

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