I hate to be partisan here (seriously -- I criticize the Obama administration all the time), but this map showing declines (blue) in mortality rates for women and increases (red) looks a lot like voting patterns. There is a lot of red across the south and Republican Midwest. The blue tends to show up in Democratically dominated states like California and New York and to be most highly concentrated in the Democratic parts of Democratic or mixed states, such as the Chicago metro area in Illinois or the Detroit metro area in Michigan.

Of course there are many factors that determine life expectancy and some of them will not be easily affected by state policies, especially in the short-term. But the relationship shown in the map is striking. Needless to say, if the color pattern were reversed we would be hearing this as the lead news story for the next century.

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