As an epidemiologist, Dr. Sandro Galea is always concerned with the aspects of our lives and environments that determine our health as individuals and society.
When he thinks What the Future, he’s worried that we’re not prioritizing the right things and that we don’t understand that the choices we’re making affect the policies we put in place. Those policies have huge impacts for equity of healthcare – even larger impacts than we might think.
GenPop: You asked about life expectancies and how those are different for the richest and poorest Americans. What did you think of the results?
Dr. Sandro Galea: I thought it was clear that most people had the general idea [about the differences] and also clear that only a minority of people actually got the specifics and understood how big the problem is. What struck me is that the narrative about health inequality is out there, yet about a quarter of the people thought there was no difference at all [in life expectancies of the rich and poor]. But I’m an optimist. I think the fact that most people know the difference is good.