News & Politics

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 instit...Show More

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Leaving Baltimore behind

44:25 | Nov 30th, 2018

Baltimore is running a unique housing experiment that gives longtime residents vouchers to leave the city’s poorest, most violent neighborhoods for new homes in more affluent suburbs nearby. In this episode, we follow a mom named Alethea through t...Show More

Sit in a circle. Talk to other pregnant women. Save your baby’s life?

24:29 | Nov 2nd, 2018

A decade ago, South Carolina was one of the most dangerous places in America for a baby to be born. But now, it’s taking an unconventional approach to fixing it: having pregnant women sit in circles with other pregnant women The early ...Show More

Car crash hospitals vs. plane crash hospitals

23:56 | Oct 23rd, 2017

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 t...Show More

Denmark’s paternity leave problem

33:49 | Dec 14th, 2018

Denmark gives new parents nearly a year off work after they have a baby. Most of that time can be taken by either parent — but dads take barely any time at all.  That has consequences for Danish men and women at work and at home. For the final ...Show More

The incredible shrinking city

32:19 | Dec 7th, 2018

For decades, Memphis grew by bringing its suburbs into the city limits. City officials thought this suburb-gobbling policy would be an economic boon-- that it would bring in tax revenue. Instead, the policy was an economic disaster, especially fo...Show More

What schools look like when we fund them fairly

34:33 | Nov 23rd, 2018

All across the country, it seems like a given: places with more expensive houses have nicer schools because they can pay higher taxes. That’s just how education seems to work. Except in Vermont. Two decades ago, the state passed a radical law t...Show More

Food fight!

33:20 | Nov 16th, 2018

22% of New Yorkers are obese. In Chicago it is more than a quarter of the city. Obesity puts people at risk of diabetes, heart disease, even certain kinds of cancer. A couple of years ago, both cities decided to do something about it. But th...Show More

Deportation without representation

30:15 | Nov 9th, 2018

While the federal government is trying to deport as many immigrants as possible, Oakland, California, is running a policy experiment to help immigrants stay in their communities. The city is giving as many immigrants as possible attorneys in court, f...Show More

Is fixing campaign finance as easy as giving everyone $100?

30:11 | Nov 2nd, 2018

Seattle is running the country’s most radical experiment to fix campaign finance. Last year, the city sent every resident $100 that they could donate to the local campaign of their choice. Seattle flooded its election with small donations to try ...Show More

The wait is over: The Impact is back next week

02:09 | Oct 26th, 2018

The Impact’s second season focuses on states and cities as laboratories of democracy. Unlike our gridlocked Congress, local governments are constantly implementing exciting new policy. This season, the team crisscrossed the country to find the most i...Show More

Introducing Future Perfect

22:53 | Oct 17th, 2018

A sneak peek at Vox’s newest show, about provocative ideas with the potential to radically improve the world. Host Dylan Matthews tackles big questions about the most effective ways to save lives, reform prisons, fight global warming, and end world p...Show More

Bonus: The gender wage gap

22:54 | Apr 12th, 2018

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...Show More

Help us make season 2!

01:12 | Jan 8th, 2018

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.  ...Show More

How California saves moms from dying in childbirth

31:37 | Dec 4th, 2017

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...Show More

The black robe effect

40:23 | Nov 27th, 2017

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 ...Show More

This robotic pelvis reduces teen pregnancy

26:32 | Nov 20th, 2017

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...Show More

The controversial way doctors fight pain without opioids

27:27 | Nov 13th, 2017

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, ...Show More

The policies that created the opioid epidemic

25:25 | Nov 6th, 2017

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 bes...Show More

It’s time to face the fax

24:45 | Oct 30th, 2017

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 cli...Show More

The curious case of the $629 Band-Aid

23:11 | Oct 16th, 2017

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 wi...Show More

The Impact: Real people, and the policies that shape their lives

00:50 | Oct 9th, 2017

The Impact is a show about how policy affects people — policies that work and policies that need some work. We are going to follow those policies after they leave Congress or statehouses, to see what happens when they wind their way out into the ...Show More