Low Life Expectancy tracks with Opposition to Obamacare (Map)

Life expectancy in the United States by state (2009 statistics):

longevity in US

Hawaii has the longest life expectancy among the states, so maybe Obama thought it isn’t normal for people to drop dead young the way they do in South Carolina. (About a fourth of South Carolinians lack health care insurance, and the local elite is committed to keeping it that way).

With the exception of Utah, there is a pretty strong overlap between lower life expectancy and deep hostility to the Affordable Care Act. Those who need it most are most opposed to it.

Know what that is called? Fatal stupidity.

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17 Responses

  1. This is interesting, I had no idea Hawaii has the longest life expectancy. And the point that those who need it the most are most opposed to it. I love your ending statement: “Know what that is called? Fatal stupidity.”

    • Low life expectancy reflects both higher levels of infant mortality and shorter life spans. It is supremely ironic that states home to populations promoting right-to-life agendas are more likely to permit children to die once born. On the other hand, to the extent the elderly in these same states embrace opposition to expanded health coverage, and therefore experience earlier mortality, they are simply reaping what they sow. It is God’s will and way of controlling excessive short-sightedness.

      • That why they call motorcyclist who don’t wear helmets “organ donors”

    • Hawaii has had basically the closest thing to socialized medicine since 1974. That probably has a direct correlation with life expectancy.

  2. Utah is an anomaly primarily because many Mormons actually practice “the Word of Wisdom” (link to lds.org), which advises how to live a healthy life. Although it was written in the 1800s, it advises a lot of the stuff we now know to be true (low fat, etc.).

    Also, the LDS Church has an extensive welfare program, so many of the people that would need a public healthcare system are taken care of by the LDS church on an as-needed basis.

    So in effect a majority of the people in Utah already have a “single payer” healthcare system run by the LDS church.

  3. Dear Juan Cole and fellow readers,

    Here´s a well researched book on welfare, trust, social justice, and democracy, well worth reading:

    Richard Wilkinson och Kate Pickett: The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, Allen Lane, London 2009.

    In the study, the authors show that among modern, rich countries, the Scandinavian countries and Japan are almost always doing better, and U.K. and the U.S. are almost always doing worst.

    Apart from the sound ability to achieve purpose, which we all need, power is the product of the cooperation between the powerful and the powerless.

    M.K. Gandhi understood this deeply.

    In the gospel of Luke, Rabbi Yeshua [Jesus]said, “God´s rule is right here on earth, but people don´t see it.” Governments, economists, military, and Christian fascists don´t want to hear it.

    Nevertheless, the conclusions are ready to harvest:

    We are fully responsible, eternity is in this very moment, no belief in a heaven elsewhere, no life after death, no savior.

    Resurrection is clear mind and clear seeing. Unconditional, interdependent, and mutual.

    Take a deep look, and check for your self!

    Juan, thank you for your good blog.

    Cheers, Björn Lindgren

  4. Just wish to point out that actually, the lowest U.S life span expectancy is the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (some other reservations are similar, if not worse) with end of life averaging “Men 56.5 years, Women 66 years. ”

    Though I certainly don’t speak for other Indians, my personal perception is that Obama has been a great friend to us in this area, both with Indian Health Service budgets and by making permanent the Indian Health Care Improvement act. It speaks in part to Björn Lindgren’s comment above regarding equal societies, which these laws and deeds, like the Affordable Health Care act, seek to improve.

  5. Hawaii’s longer life expectency is probably due to its very high Asian population, a demographic that has lower rates of obesity and heart disease. Higher consumption of fish and lower consumption of red meat is a major factor in this.

  6. You had better not tell a South Carolinian what to do, or you may get a cane upside the head.

    • The modern South Carolinian won’t have a cane; he’ll be riding in an old-folks scooter paid for by Medicare, wearing a Medicare-provided oxygen mask because his lungs were destroyed by “harmless” cigarettes and “nonexistent” industrial pollution.

      But a scooter can run you down, man.

  7. If anyone wants a great explanation of this phenomenon, read Tom Frank’s terrific book, “What’s the Matter with Kansas”. It goes into great detail about why those most damaged by Republican political actions are the very people who most stridently promote Republican candidates.

    Which is not to say that Obama’s heath care program is a great thing, since the first priority in care that it deals with is that of the insurance and drug companies. The second priority was to protect by exemption those already covered by company provided plans. So it was another case of those that have and the first provided for and only then are those at the bottom dealt with.

    Insurance works better as the pool of the insured expands. The largest pool would be all Americans under a single payer plan that avoids all the insurance companies entirely.

    • Making it no longer “insurance,” but just “national universal health care.” A much more likeable notion.

  8. But it doesn’t follow that Obamacare, especially as chopped and changed by the Supremes yesterday, is going to be good for poor people’s health, or will impact positively on Congress’s ability to create social legislation on poor people’s behalf. You should know better than to imply that that is the case, sir:

    link to colorlines.com

    link to nakedcapitalism.com

  9. Thanks Juan for your posting of this map. I believe that it is past time for progressives to step up in the battle for good affordable healthcare. We especially need to speak truth to power in the 26 states that challenged the Affordable Care Act. When politicians like Bobby Jindal in LA place their ideological beliefs/careers above the well being of their people who have the worst health outcomes in USA, it’s time for some truth telling!

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