A public health professor at IUPUI says there is a direct connection between Indiana’s economic success and the health of Hoosiers.
“Employers are looking for the ability to recruit employees who are healthy and productive, and ultimately are going to contribute to the success of that firm,” Professor Paul Halverson told Inside Indiana Business. “We’re hitting a wall when it comes to being able to actually make substantial increases in that goal with an unhealthy population.”
To break it down, if Hoosiers were healthier, they would live longer and be more productive. If they’re more productive, that would help their employers, which would help the economy.
Indiana ranks 41st in the United States in terms of overall health and 48th in public health funding.
“If we could get just to the average of what most states pay for public health, we could increase the life expectancy and we could improve the quality of life,” Halverson said. “When we invest in public health, we spend less on healthcare and live longer. It is also the most important step we can take to strengthen Indiana’s economy.”
Halverson added that Hoosiers live, on average, about three years less than the general population in the U.S., and Indiana pays more for medical care, “because in large part, we’re generally sicker.”