Republican health policies disproportionately harm white citizens in their country – The Health Care Blog

BY MIKE MAGEE

like meI’ve said before, I believe Dr. Ladapo is an anti-scientific quack who doesn’t…it belongs somewhere near our states Surgeon General office, let alone running it. But now hehas been confirmed, it isI sincerely hope that he and Governor DeSantis choose to focus on saving lives and preventing unnecessary disease rather than continue their absurd promotion of conspiracy theories and opposition to proven public health measures — but II’m not going to hold my breath.”

If you recognized these words as the words of former governor, and now Congressman Charlie Crisp, who is currently running to retake the office he once held, you’d be wrong. These are the words of another state Democrat who is finishing second in the Democratic primary this summer.

Her name is Nikki Fried, Florida Agriculture Commissioner, and the only Democrat in his cabinet. This isn’t the first time she’s gotten tangled up with DeSantis over Joseph Ladapo. She vigorously opposed his appointment in October 2021, citing shortcomings that foster disinformation about Covid, discriminate against black farmers and refuse to wear a mask at the request of Senator Tina Policy, who was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.

By all accounts, the health department that Dr. Ladapo is presumed to be a general surgeon, a mess. An investigative report in Tampa Bay News this week found that in the past seven months, as cases of Covid variants in the state hit 80,000 a week, public health officials have reported no positive tests to nearly a quarter of those infected, and not have included 3,000 cases of COVID-19 deaths in the state’s mortality statistics. During the same period, Ladapo, who earned his reputation of incompetence as a Trump sycophant, advised the state’s health departments to stop tracing COVID contacts.

It would be comforting to imagine that politically motivated medical crimes are limited to this one state, but an extensive article published this week in the BMJ, tracking U.S. health data from 2001 to 2019, finds that politics indeed affects your health.

In a previous study published in JAMA, the authors found that there was a growing gap in morbidity and mortality between rural and urban areas in the US. bad medical results.

In an article this week, the author, Haider J. Warraich, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, stated: “Whether we looked at urban or rural areas, people who lived in areas with Republican political leanings were more likely to die early. than those in areas with Democratic political leanings. There was no single cause of death that drove this deadly wedge: The death rate from all 10 of the most common causes of death has increased between Republican and Democratic areas… Based on statistical tests, it seemed the gap in mortality is expected to widen after 2008, consistent with the adoption of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, much of which was the expansion of Medicaid.”

As expected, the worst-performing areas coincided with those under the control of Republican governors who refused to accept the federally subsidized expansion of Medicaid services for their citizens.

As DeSantis and his fellow governors fan the flames of the “replacement theory” and gratefully accept the Trump base’s unwavering support, they may want to focus on this surprising finding in the BMJ data – the “fourfold growth in the gap in death rates between white residents of Democratic and Republican areas appears to be causing most of the overall growing gap between Democratic and Republican areas.”

In 2005, I gave a speech at the Library of Congress that caused quite a stir. The title was ‘Health is politics’. The work of Dr. Warraich adds concrete data to support the argument. As he recently wrote, “In an ideal world, public health would be independent of politics. But recent events in the US, such as the pending Supreme Court’s withdrawal of Roe v. Wade, the spike in gun violence across the country, and strong partisan divisions over the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, are shaking public health. on a collision course with politics. While this may seem like a new phenomenon, American politics over the past two decades has caused a deep rift in Americans’ health.”

Mike Magee MD is a medical historian and the author of “CODE BLUE: Inside the Medical-Industrial Complex.”