"Your State’s Politics Might Be the Death of You" - Innovation Hub at WGBH and PRX. 03/27/2021
Policymakers have a thumb on the scale when it comes to how long we live. Jennifer Karas Montez, a sociologist and demographer at Syracuse University, Center for Aging and Policy Studies (CAPS), has spent her career studying the social causes of death and disease in the United States – how differing state policies have contributed to a 7 year gap between the state with the highest (Hawaii) and the lowest (West Virginia) life expectancy in the U.S.
Though COVID-19 has shined a light on how different state approaches to health affect day-to-day life, even in non-pandemic times, longevity and health are deeply impacted by what’s going on at the state level. From how generous paid leave is where you live, to how easy marijuana is to access, the patchwork of policies across the U.S affect health outcomes.