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Working Class White America is ‘Dying of Despair’

Donald Trump is right. The health care issue is not going away. The ongoing slow-collapse of Obamacare guarantees that.

Let’s add fuel to the fire: the latest bad news from health experts. White Americans are privileged, academics tell us. Yet millions of whites are experiencing a rise in mortality rates formerly associated with failing countries. They’re enduring health collapse, a massive social failure, like what happened to Russians in the 1990s.

For most of my life, I’ve been hearing the same trope from progressives. “If only this” — insert social problem here — “were happening to ‘straight white males,’ America would declare it a national crisis.” Plug in mass incarceration, AIDS, poverty, drug use, unwanted pregnancy, and you’ve got your progressive op-ed.

Now white people are the victims. But not many seem to care. The latest data from a study by Anne Case and Sir Angus Deaton came at a March 23-24 Brookings Institution conference. Its findings are stunning: Since 1998, death rates for middle-aged white people without college degrees are skyrocketing.

Less-schooled whites face an epidemic of “deaths of despair.” This means accidents, suicides, drug and alcohol overdoses, plus related chronic illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure that increase the risk of heart disease.

Thankfully, mortality rates for less educated blacks and Hispanics are flat or declining. Middle-aged white people without college degrees are now more likely to die than African-Americans.

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