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Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The United States trails many other developed countries when it comes to life expectancy, but how long one lives can have a lot to do with where that person lives in the U.S. and how conservative its policies are. And Michael Hobbes, in an article for HuffPost, discusses the connection between GOP policies and shorter life expectancy and a new study showing how destructive those policies can be.

"In 2014," Hobbes notes, "American life expectancy fell backward for the first time in 21 years. U.S. lifespans slid lower for another three years straight before barely ticking upward in 2018."


This month, the Milbank Quarterly published a study that breaks down the connection between where Americans live and how long they live.

"Conservative policies, the researchers found, are the driving force behind America's declining lifespans," Hobbes observes.

According to Jennifer Karas Montez, a sociologist at Syracuse University and the study's lead author, "Across a huge range of issues, the more liberal version of state policies predicts longer life expectancy, and the conservative version predicts shorter life expectancy."

Hobbes explains that the study published in Milbank Quarterly "illuminates the choice before Americans in the 2020 election. While the Republican Party has declined to release a national policy platform for the next four years, the GOP currently holds 29 state legislatures and 26 governorships and has spent decades enacting its preferred policies in conservative states. Over the last decade, a growing body of research has found that these policies are negatively affecting the health of constituents."

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Rep. Andrew Garbarino

Photo by Andrew Garbarino/ Twitter

Just 17 of the 44 newly sworn-in Republican members of Congress signed a letter on Wednesday congratulating President-elect Joe Biden and pledging to work with him to find common ground. But even most of these lawmakers who now urge unity voted to overturn his victory just two weeks ago.

In their letter, the "freshmen class" Republicans wrote that they "are hopeful that — despite our ideological differences — we may work together on behalf of the American people we are each so fortunate to serve." They cited COVID-19 relief, pre-existing conditions, infrastructure, antitrust enforcement, and the economy as potential areas for collaboration.

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