Life expectancy rising has been a staple of past public health reports in the U.S., and overall women in the U.S. are still living longer, but many counties in are showing decreasing life expectancy of a year or two in womens lives, primarily in areas where poverty and poor health have increased. A recent Los Angeles Times article pointed out smoking, obesity and the polarization of incomes which has contributed to this reverse in health trends.
Jewish women’s life expectancy in the U.S. is not studied closely, but the assumption is that may be similar to Israeli women, though not necessarily, as health care in Israel is universal and participation in a medical insurance plan is compulsory.
Fourteen years ago, in 1997, the Los Angeles Jewish Population Survey found 40,300 or 16 percent of Jewish households reporting at least one health need unfulfilled in the past year. 9,000 households (3.6 percent) reported that a member needed medical care or surgery and did not receive it and more than twice that, 24,000 households reported that they delayed medical care because of cost. 16,800 LA Jewish households reported that they needed medicines or eyeglasses but did without in the preceding year. Currently, with higher insurance premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket payments the Jews of LA might be worse off. Its hard to know, because its not being studied.
Pini Herman serves as President of the Movable Minyan a lay-lead independent congregation in the 3rd Street area.