Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Life expectancy, Obamacare and the rural poor -- and Trump


Recently the CDC “came out” with a report showing American life expectancy was decreasing slightly again, primarily because of losses in poor rural (often largely white) communities where job loss and poverty become commensurate with obesity, diabetes, alcohol and drug abuse.  It sounds a bit like Putin’s rural Russia.  Here’s the Vox article by Julia Belluz and Sarah Frostenson, complete with map studies.

Brad Pinkerton and Sarah Kliff interview a women in eastern Kentucky and explain “Why one Obamacare enrollee voted for Trump: ‘I don’t see how they can call it affordable care’”.    It is particularly interesting how people with cancer diagnoses stop follow-up scans (like colonoscopies) or opt not to treat cancers.  Without the social and economic support systems, they feel they are better off if they don’t undergo treatment with side effects but simply live as long as possible without treatment (which with older people sometimes makes real sense).


 
And here’s an important piece in the American Conservative by Rod Dreher, “Why poor people don’t move”, link.

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