Not long ago, Americans learned that the average life expectancy for white people in this country – those most likely to have voted for Donald Trump – actually declined for the first time in many years. The pathologies and frustrations believed to have driven that decline may have motivated the tiny handful of votes that gave Trump his Electoral College victory.
But not long after their euphoria over his inauguration fades, they are going to learn why his administration is so likely to drive those statistics in the wrong direction. Despite his promise to protect Social Security and Medicare – and his vow to replace the Affordable Care Act with “something much better” – Trump’s cabinet appointees and his allies in Congress plan ruinous changes to those programs. And that will mean ruin, and in thousands of cases death, for the mostly white and working class people who depend so heavily on them