What's your state's health care rank?
A new Commonwealth Fund report rates health care systems across the country -- and some of the results are disturbing.
This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.
Nearly one in four West Virginians have lost six or more teeth. That's just one finding in a new Commonwealth Fund scorecard (.pdf file) on the performance of health systems across the U.S.
Minnesota is home to the best-performing health care system in the country, according to the scorecard. Mississippi ranks last, just as it did in 2009, the last time the scorecard was released.
The Commonwealth Fund assessed a wealth of data in determining the states' ranks. The Atlantic said:
The Commonwealth Fund relied on 42 different metrics that gauged everything from insurance coverage to avoidable hospital stays to vaccination rates, at the systemic level; and from obesity rates to how many adults have lost six or more teeth, at the individual level.
One thing is made abundantly clear when reviewing the states' ranks: "When it comes to the quality of health care, there are two Americas," The Huffington Post said.
On average, most Northern states fared well on the health care scorecard, some scoring as much as eight times better than other states. It was an entirely different story in the Southern states.
The Southern states performed poorly five years ago, and, unfortunately, not much changed this go-round. In fact, if you live in the South, chances are your state has a dismal health care rating.
Last-place Mississippi is followed by Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas for the worst health care systems across the U.S. These states not only have inferior health care, their people are also more likely to be poor, according to HuffPo.
"We continue to see this very wide geographic spread," said Commonwealth Fund senior vice president Cathy Schoen, a co-author of the report. Millions of lives could be saved if the low-performing states could close just half the gap with the top states, Schoen said. "We really need to stay focused on aiming higher."
One way Obamacare aimed to improve health care was to expand Medicaid to people making 133 percent of the federal poverty level or less. That equates to $15,521 for a single person. Unfortunately, many of the worst-performing states, most with Republican governors or legislatures, opted out of the Medicaid expansion and the bump in federal funds it would bring to their states.
Of course, expanding Medicaid isn't a cure-all, but it's a start. It would allow more people to have health coverage, likely leading to less non-emergency trips to the emergency room. Enabling people to be insured could also lead to more doctors moving to rural or poor areas to provide their services.As if health care in the South doesn't sound bad enough, there's more. The Atlantic said there's also a disparity in mortality between black and white people in the Southern states. "A black man in Mississippi has a shorter life expectancy than the average American did in 1960," it said.
And things aren't looking much better for the future. As a result of the some of the worst-performing states opting out of Medicaid expansion, the Commonwealth Fund said, the geographic divide among health care systems will likely get bigger.
Curious how your state and region stack up against the rest of the nation? Click on this interactive map to find the health rankings for your ZIP code.
More from Money Talks News
- Most US millionaires want to pay higher taxes
- Think CEOs are overpaid? These guys make a lot more
- Think you couldn't hate the cable company more?
@Lar, That is really funny. Hitler was all about socialism which is what the Democrats and ACA are pushing us to.. Take a look at the VA today because that is how it will work for the rest of us tomorrow.. Ask any one in the UK.. And the states that are going bankrupt? Yeah ya might want to take a closure look at those states, Democrats..
If half the people you know are Republicans, do you hate them as much as you show on your post? Sad...
The only rational conclusion is that, despite their cynical "family values" propaganda, the Republican Party is a criminal conspiracy to betray the interests of the American people in favor of plutocratic and corporate interests, and absolutist religious groups.
"Spite voting is mostly a white male phenomenon, which is why a majority of white males vote Republican. It comes from a toxic mix of thwarted expectations, hate, cowardice, bigotry, shame, and a particular strain of anomie that is unique to the white American male experience."
The US health care industry is a $2.7 trillion dollar industry. Only the US, China, India, Japan, and Germany have economies larger. When you have $2.7 trillion, "buying Congress" is only "petty cash".
How about a moment of silence for the 45,000 that die each year due to LACK of health care????
Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday.
"We're losing more Americans every day because of inaction ... than drunk driving and homicide combined," Dr. David Himmelstein, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said in an interview with Reuters.
"The US Healthcare System is an International Scandal at about TWICE the per capita cost of comparable countries and US Health Care provides some of the worst outcomes, and it is getting worse. The problem is not Medicare. But because Medicare has to go through the privatized unregulated Healthcare System which is totally dysfunctional - Medicare Suffers. You can’t talk about this in Washington because of the power of insurance and financial Institutions.”
Don't talk about cost. If 55 other countries, including some underdeveloped ones, can provide some form of universal health care for their citizens it’s a disgrace and shameful that the United States doesn’t. We already know some inefficiency is in our private insurance system, eg. profits. We need a single payer system and "everyone" needs to support it. It's essentially barbaric to have a "for profit" system where only those with money get care. I don't know about you, but I hate to think my health depends on someone's stock dividend.
Repeal Obamacare Now!!
Vote out lying Democrats in November!!
Repeal in December!!
You can keep your Doctor, You can keep your health care plan. (Both Obama LIES!!!)
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."-
"The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits." - Jefferson
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'