Cover art for podcast The Impact

The Impact

34 EpisodesProduced by VoxWebsite

In Washington, DC, the story often ends when Congress passes a law. For us, that’s where the story begins. We examine the consequences of what happens when powerful people act — or fail to act. This season, Jillian Weinberger explores the big ideas from the 2020 presidential candidates: how their id… read more

34 Episodes | 2017 - 2022

Introducing The Impact

October 9th, 2017


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 …

The curious case of the $629 Band-Aid

October 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 …

Car crash hospitals vs. plane crash hospitals

October 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 time to face the fax

October 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 …

The policies that created the opioid epidemic

November 6th, 2017


There's a well-known narrative about the opioid epidemic: pharmaceutical companies and dirty doctors pushed misinformation and addictive drugs on …

The controversial way doctors fight pain without opioids

November 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 …

This robotic pelvis reduces teen pregnancy

November 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 …

The black robe effect

November 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 …

How California saves moms from dying in childbirth

December 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 …

Help us make season 2!

January 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, …

Season 2: The most interesting policy experiments across the country

October 26th, 2018


The Impact’s second season focuses on states and cities as laboratories of democracy. Unlike our gridlocked Congress, local governments are …

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

November 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 …

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

November 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 …

Deportation without representation

November 9th, 2018


While the federal government is trying to deport as many immigrants as possible, Oakland, California, is running a policy experiment to help …

Food fight!

November 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 …

What schools look like when we fund them fairly

November 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 …

Leaving Baltimore behind

November 30th, 2018


Baltimore is running a unique housing experiment that gives longtime residents vouchers to leave the city’s poorest, most violent neighborhoods for …

The incredible shrinking city

December 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 …

Denmark’s paternity leave problem

December 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 …

New season, new host

December 16th, 2019


Sarah Kliff returns for a farewell and a handoff to The Impact's new host, Jillian Weinberger, who has a preview of what's to come in our next season. 

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The Impact of 2020

January 6th, 2020


In this season preview, Vox’s Jillian Weinberger calls a fellow native Ohioan to discuss the perils of Swing State pride during presidential elections, and their frustration with the way election coverage casts their …

How to stop an epidemic

January 8th, 2020


Sen. Elizabeth Warren is running for president with a plan to fight the opioid epidemic. Her legislation would dramatically expand access to …

After conviction, a second chance

January 15th, 2020


President Gerald Ford took office during one of the most difficult times in the country’s history. In August 1974, the US had just lived through …

Green New Germany

January 22nd, 2020


Two decades ago, Hans-Josef Fell quietly started a revolution in his home country, with a law that looks a lot like part of the Green New Deal …

How Taiwan got Medicare-for-All

January 29th, 2020


In the early 1990s, the government of Taiwan decided to try an experiment. In just nine months, they completely revolutionized their health care …

Saving Private Health Care

January 31st, 2020


Janet Feldman has been paying for private insurance for years. She does so even though Australia has a robust public insurance option. But when she …

Family Dollar(s)

February 5th, 2020


Natasha Razouk wants to give her 7-year-old the best possible life. She buys big boxes of fresh tomatoes at Costco, and she gets her daughter warm …

Free tuition is not enough

February 12th, 2020


Free college tuition seems like a solution to so many problems. After all, the price of tuition is the No. 1 reason students give for leaving school. …

Where the US already has a border wall

February 19th, 2020


Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales, Sonora, are known as “Ambos Nogales” — “both Nogaleses.” The city straddles the border of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. …

The Toll

June 10th, 2020


In this bonus, chat episode of The Impact, Jillian is joined by Vox's Matt Yglesias and Course Correction's Nelufar Hedayat to talk about how the …

40 Acres: The original promise

October 3rd, 2022


Fabiola Cineas talks with Nkechi Taifa, the founder and director of the Reparation Education Project, about the history of the fight for reparations …

40 Acres: $14 trillion and no mules

October 3rd, 2022


Paying the price. One of the typical questions asked during conversations about reparations is how to pay for them. Fabiola talks with economist …

40 Acres: The old Jim Crow

October 3rd, 2022


Why slavery? Marxist scholar Adolph Reed argues that Jim Crow — not enslavement — is the defining experience for Black Americans today. Reed recounts …

40 Acres: Reaching reconciliation

October 3rd, 2022


What good are piecemeal reparations? From Georgetown University, where school leadership once sold enslaved people, to Evanston, Illinois, where …

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