Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Conservatism Kills

Put succinctly, Conservatism kills.  Sure, right-wing policies towards firearms kill, but the culture of death goes even deeper, on a more basic level.  There is currently a 'mortality gap' between heavily Democratic and heavily Republican counties and it is widening. 

The team compiled data from more than 3,000 U.S. counties in all 50 states and found mortality rates decreased by 22% in Democratic counties but dropped only 11% in Republican counties, according to the study published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal.

This gap is apparent across a wide range of pathologies, medical and social:

Mortality rates in Democratic counties dropped from 850 deaths per 100,000 people to 664, but in Republican counties, mortality rates declined from 867 to 771. The mortality gap widened across leading causes of death in the U.S. including heart disease, cancer, drug overdoses and suicide.

Democratic counties also saw greater reductions in deaths from chronic lower respiratory tract diseases, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, and kidney disease.

The driver of this mortality gap is a disparity between health incomes for white Democrats and white Republicans, with health outcomes being better for white Democrats.  Black and Hispanic Americans tend to have worse health outcomes than white Americans, but their death rates are falling more rapidly than those of white Republicans.  

The Affordable Healthcare Act, aka Obamacare, played a role in the decreasing mortality rate in Democratic leaning counties, but personal choice also plays a role.  Democrats are more likely to engage in healthy habits, such as receiving vaccinations, exercising (we love our bike lanes), and eating well (unlike Republicans, we don't think that eating vegetables is 'gay' and don't see hamburgers as a lifestyle).  

As a progressive, I really want to see an improvement in longevity and quality of life for all Americans, but if Conservatives insist on remaining in a death cult that is killing them, can't they speed things up in time for the November midterms?


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