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Study: Liberal states have healthier residents

A new study shows that politically liberal states have healthier residents. The results can be tied directly to Obamacare and the Supreme Court’s ruling that states do not have to participate in the expansion of the Medicaid program.

Basically, the states that didn’t participate generally are more conservative, and by not participating, residents — mainly the working poor — are being denied access to affordable health coverage. This has a significant effect on the overall health of the state’s residents.

Mother Jones has broken down a paper published in Social Science and Medicine looking at the correlation between politics and health.

The study shows that “the presence of a more liberal government is related to a higher rate of reported health, a lower rate of reported smoking, lower BMI, and fewer numbers of days with poor health.”

The authors of the study, political scientist Mitchel Herian of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his colleagues, used Disease Control and Prevention’s 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which is a survey of more than 450,000 people. They were asked to rank their health on a five-point scale.

To determine a state’s level of liberalism, the researchers used an index that takes into account factors ranging from how interest groups like the NRA and Americans for Democratic Action rate the state’s congressional representatives to the composition of the state legislature.

They then were able to come up with this chart to plot each state’s health in relation to its level of liberalism.

The researchers also found that more liberal states tend to take fewer sick days.

Via Mother Jones