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The Impact

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In Washington, the story often ends when Congress passes a law. For The Impact, that’s where our story begins. We focus on the human consequences of policy-making, what happens in the real world after the government, non-profits, even academic institutions start doing something differently. The Impact looks at policies that work — and policies that need some work — as they make their way out into the real world, with many surprises along the way.

In Washington, the story often ends when Congress passes a law. For The Impact, that’s where our story begins. We focus on the human consequences of policy-making, what happens in the real world after the government, non-profits, even academic institutions start doing something differently. The Impact looks at policies that work — and policies that need some work — as they make their way out into the real world, with many surprises along the way.
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Location:

United States

Description:

In Washington, the story often ends when Congress passes a law. For The Impact, that’s where our story begins. We focus on the human consequences of policy-making, what happens in the real world after the government, non-profits, even academic institutions start doing something differently. The Impact looks at policies that work — and policies that need some work — as they make their way out into the real world, with many surprises along the way.

Language:

English


Episodes

Bonus: The gender wage gap

4/12/2018
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The Impact team is hard at work on our second season! In the meantime, here's an episode of Vox’s newest podcast, Today, Explained. This episode is about the gender pay gap, and you’ll hear Sarah talking about the real reason working women earn about 82% as much as men. We’ll talk more about the gender pay gap in the second season of The Impact too. But before our second season begins, tune in to Today, Explained, and, of course, you can always hear Sarah on The Weeds. Enjoy!

Duration:00:22:54

Help us make season 2!

1/8/2018
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We're making season 2, and we need your help! We want to know about local policy experiments from around the country. These can be at the state, county, or city level, and can cover any kind of policy—environmental or housing or criminal justice. Send us your suggestions at bit.ly/voximpact

Duration:00:01:12

How California saves moms from dying in childbirth

12/4/2017
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The United States has an astoundingly high maternal death rate. It is three times higher than the UK, eight times higher than Norway, and still climbing. But California does way better than the rest of the country. Over the last decade, doctors in the state have banded together and worked to bring their maternal death rate down. Today on The Impact, we'll tell you the story of that effort, and show you how it helped save one woman's life. One of our health care reporters, Julia Belluz, has...

Duration:00:31:37

The black robe effect

11/27/2017
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What is the best way to care for patients with severe mental illness? The United States has struggled with this question for decades. In 1963, President Kennedy signed a law that was supposed to transfer patients with severe mental illness out of hospitals and back into their communities -- into outpatient treatment. That effort hasn't really worked. A lot these patients end up homeless. Many are in prison or jail. One recent study found that more than half of all inmates have some kind of...

Duration:00:40:23

This robotic pelvis reduces teen pregnancy

11/20/2017
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American women are changing up their birth control. The use of IUDs and implants has increased 6000% in the United States since 2002. That's the result of specific policy choices made in Washington and in state houses. These policies have reduced the teen pregnancy rate. They have cut the abortion rate. But they’re also at risk right now. In this episode, we’re going to tell you how those policies came to be, how they're helping women access birth control -- and why, at this very moment,...

Duration:00:26:32

The controversial way doctors fight pain without opioids

11/13/2017
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On this episode of The Impact, we’re looking at a possible future for pain treatment. It’s an idea known as “pain acceptance,” and in the wake of the opioid epidemic, it is gaining traction among American doctors. Music from Podington Bear, Kevin MacLeod and Chris Zabriskie.

Duration:00:27:27

The policies that created the opioid epidemic

11/6/2017
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There's a well-known narrative about the opioid epidemic: pharmaceutical companies and dirty doctors pushed misinformation and addictive drugs on patients. But there's also a policy story here, about well-meaning doctors who tried to find the best solution for their patients in pain. These doctors developed and spread new policies that urged their peers to treat pain as a vital sign and measure it at every visit. That policy change helped create the nationwide opioid epidemic we’re dealing...

Duration:00:25:25

It’s time to face the fax

10/30/2017
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Why are fax machines still such a staple of American health care? We talk to a pair of policy makers who hatched a plan to replace paper files and fax machines with electronic medical records. We explain why that plan backfired. And we go into clinics to understand why the fax's continued use isn't just annoying, but also sometimes harmful for patients' health. For even more fax facts, check out Sarah's text version of this story. You can send us feedback at impact@vox.com

Duration:00:24:45

Car crash hospitals vs. plane crash hospitals

10/23/2017
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Central line infections can be deadly. And they used to be extremely common: just a decade ago, hundreds of thousands of patients got them every year. Now, that number is closer to 9,000 annually. That's still high, but it's a dramatic drop in just ten years. So how did that happen? On this episode of the Impact, we talk to the doctor who discovered that central line infections are, in nearly all cases, completely preventable. Physicians just need to follow a checklist to make sure the line...

Duration:00:23:56

The curious case of the $629 Band-Aid

10/16/2017
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How does a Band-Aid wind up costing so much money? Why are American health care prices so incredibly high? Vox’s new podcast, the Impact, explores how policy affects real lives. This season, we’re focusing on healthcare, and we wanted to begin with one of thorniest questions in the American healthcare system: prices. In this episode, we look at how the American decision not to regulate health care prices leads to $629 Band Aids and $3,170 fees just for visiting the emergency room. We talk...

Duration:00:23:11

Coming Soon: The Impact, Season 2

10/9/2017
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The Impact is a show about how policy affects people. In Washington, the story often ends when Congress passes a law. For us, that’s where the story begins. We follow the choices that legislators, leaders, and researchers make out into the real world where they have human consequences — both positive and negative, expected and unexpected. Our second season starts Friday, November 2nd, with stories about America’s most interesting policy experiments. In the meantime, listen back to our...

Duration:00:00:49