Long Live and Live Long

By Bruce Yernberg

OK, I admit it. I listen to Public Radio. I don’t want to appear elitist so I never quote their messaging. If someone asked me if I heard this or that on MPR I would look interested in their statements. That’s all … a vague interest. Fact is I listen regularly to the stories on MPR’s morning show and quite often the NPR international news at night. I am concerned that Minnesota Public Radio is drifting to the right but that’s another matter.
I heard a short piece on Public Radio a while back. It said that Republicans die earlier in life than Democrats. So, I did a little research. I found out that 14 states with the highest death rates among seniors voted Republican.  All 14 states have Republican Governors and legislators. COVID deaths are sometimes 5 times more per senior capita in states that vote Republican.
One study compared county voting information with available health histories provided by their state. Like Minnesota, poorer rural counties that vote Republican are not healthy places to live in.  One reason is right-wing misinformation. There is lots of that out there. 
Health outcomes are directly related to health care. Conservative led states refused to accept federal money for Medicare expansion. Pro-Trump leadership delayed vaccines for citizens in pro-Trump states. It is unfortunate that mortality outcomes are directly related to conservative policies.
Now there are big advertising pushes and insurance vendors trying to deceive us into converting our Medicare coverage to plans called “Advantage”. Be very careful. Think long and hard about turning over your healthcare to a profit orientated company that can restrict your healthcare. If it sounds too good to be true it likely is. Do your research.
Perhaps there is a positive. Now that we know Democrats live longer, Democrats should have more time to support and elect candidates that will change policies so all can live longer.