Did you know that having a social support network helps you live longer? That living in a poor neighborhood makes you more likely to die young? That discrimination is hazardous to your physical health, as well as your mental health?
We’re not exactly sure why these things are true, but they are. The world you live in has a huge impact on your health. Your house, your job, your friends, your gender, race, sexual orientation, income…they all matter. That means that “health policy” goes way beyond Medicare and Medicaid. It includes affordable housing policies, economic policy and labor laws, social welfare and civil rights. In my graduate program, we call these things the social determinants of health.
Just how do health care reform, farm subsidies, and same-sex marriage affect our health? Stay tuned to my blog updates! In the meantime, get up-to-date on current events with my favorite sources. Almost all of these have a Facebook page to like or a Twitter account to follow:
- Washington Post. The classic source for federal policy news.
- Politico. Smart coverage and commentary.
- Shots: NPR Health Blog. Health news highlights from NPR.
- National Journal. A conservative perspective on national issues.
- The New Republic. A liberal perspective on national issues.
- UNC Public Health Newsfeed. Worldwide health headlines featuring our UNC faculty.
- Under the Dome. News & Observer blog following North Carolina politics.
For extra credit, sign up for email updates from Kaiser Health News for smart, non-partisan, and in-depth coverage of health policy debates.
If that seems too much like homework, try Slate’s Weekly Gabfest. Hosted by contributors to slate.com, it’s a lively podcast with snarky titles about the week’s political news.