The Policy Consequences of Health Bias in Political Voice
31 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2014
Date Written: 2014
While research on the link between health and political behavior at the individual level has flourished, there have been no systematic analyses regarding the policy consequences of health inequalities in political voice. Using a unique dataset that measures the health bias in voter turnout across the fifty states from 1996-2012, I find that state electorates that are disproportionately more representative of healthy citizens are spend less on health and have less generous Medicaid programs. The negative relationship between the degree of health bias in state electorates and the level of Medicaid generosity remains after controlling for the degree of class bias in voter turnout. On the other hand, health bias is associated with increased generosity of Medicare. These findings have important implications for democratic theory and policy responsiveness, as well as our understanding of variations in health policy across the American states.
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