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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.

By MSN Money Partner May 9, 2014 12:59PM

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyNearly 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.

Pills © Sean Justice/CorbisMinnesota 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

May 9, 2014 5:48PM
The United States is ranked 37th in the world over all for quality of healthcare and affordability. This is due to a oligopoly of corporations that set their own prices and decide what care your going to get so as to maximize profits, plain and simple. Clearly we can do better, our government has given us the finest military in the world, yet people say we can't produce the finest healthcare system, Bull hockey. I'm sick and tired of paying $8,000 dollars a year for sub par service, when 36 other nations receive the same care for half the price.
May 9, 2014 2:59PM
With insurance companies owning hospitals in southwestern Pennsylvania it is only going to get worse. 35th out of 50 and only going to get worse. Shame on you Pennsylvania!!!!!!!!  This would be considered a conflict of interest in any other business venture!!!!!!!
May 9, 2014 3:02PM
Expanding Medicaid wile taking away from Medicare. Yes, I`m sure that's the thing to do.
May 9, 2014 3:10PM
Before ACA if you had insurance you had a $10 to $30 copay to go see the Dr. Now, with the new and improved system even though you have "insurance" you basically have no insurance at all until you meet your new higher deductible, which means instead of paying a $30 copay to see a Dr. you now pay full price, $75 to over $100 per visit. Of course less people are seeing Dr.s. They're also selling less BMWs in poorer zip codes too.... imagine that. 
May 9, 2014 4:20PM

@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...

May 9, 2014 3:01PM
Health care costs are climbing exponentially and quality will certainly decrease thanks to the ACA (Obummercare).  Just wait until the employer mandate kicks in!  Vote everyone out this November who voted for this horrible piece of legislation.
May 9, 2014 3:17PM
Expanding Medicaid and reforming Medicare IS the thing to do.  When poor people get healthier they do better in life, just like everyone else.  And when they do better, they are less likely to need other social supports and society saves money.  Good all the way around, yes?  Medicare is our most expensive social program and is only going to get more so as the Baby Boomer bulge passes through.  Reforms are badly needed to lower the cost of health care and keep the program sustainable.  High income households can be means tested without damaging the program -- that's a Republican idea by the way.  Cadillac plans can be trimmed down.  And who is against putting more tech resources into reducing the $100 billion lost each year to fraud?  More should be done much earlier to PREVENT the big chronic diseases that wind up killing most of us and sucking up the majority of health care dollars in our last years of life -- heart disease, obesity, hypertension and diabetes.  ALL of those are diseases produced by lifestyle choices -- ingesting tobacco, alcohol, salt, sugar, fat, meat and wheat.  Contol intake of those and we can cut the cost of health care in half or more, both personally and societally.
Since the New Deal, Republicans have been on the wrong side of every issue of concern to ordinary Americans; Social Security, the war in Vietnam, Iraq,equal rights, civil liberties, church- state separation, consumer issues, public education, reproductive freedom, national health care, labor issues, gun policy, campaign-finance reform, the environment and tax fairness. No political party could remain so consistently wrong by accident.

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.

May 9, 2014 7:00PM
msn and another report about how wonderful obama care is , and how the evil republicans are trying to kill off the poor . i cant wait to shell out more tax money for the 41 million illegals that the democrats want to welcome with open arms . before you worked for the american dream now you demand the american dream .
May 9, 2014 7:15PM
What is funnier than hell is that King Kitzhaber fearless leader of Cover Oregon forgot to pay the insurance agents that helped people sign up manually the $900,000 the state owes them after the millions lost on the development of the original sign up site. Cool huh? He is a doctor dontcha know? does anybody know what page we are at on Obamacare? Remember Pelosi said we have to pass it to know what's in it. so far I think we have met some sign up point, and that does not mean everybody has paid. Has anybody even seen a doctor. I do know the price of health care has not gone down.
May 13, 2014 4:19PM
Residents of Summit County, Colorado have ACA premiums of $464 per month.  What is affordable about that?
May 14, 2014 2:44AM
Every freakin liberal will here to bitch and whine about the capitalist system.  Pay no attention to the nations practicing socialist healthcare and that every one them has citizens coming to the U.S.A. to seek medical care.   That is too obvious for the morons from the Democratic supporters and the left.
May 13, 2014 10:45AM

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!!!)

May 13, 2014 10:33PM
GMO's in our foods (which are not labeled as such)... things that are banned in over 20 countries (allowed here)....imported farm raised fish from China & Cambodia, and others doused with antibiotics and other chemicals (some even illegal in our own country)....thank you FDA & our own federal government!  Big corporate food, big "pharma", and all the "BIG" that have bribed the unworthy, greedy charlatans on capital hill, who pretend to have our best interests (health) at heart.  Hippocrates said, "Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food".  Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act is the actual whole title of this law....not only did Obama lie, the title of this thing is a total laughable one.  We the people are being "fleeced"! 

"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."-

Thomas Jefferson

"The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits." - Jefferson

May 9, 2014 5:39PM
Your money or your life. Stay healthy no matter what system they have. Medical bandits will have US Citizens pushing a shopping cart for a residence. No speak English, pocito dinero, where free hospital? Me no white, albino other race. I go there, you pay me? Where free food place? Me want free school too. When payday start? Send my checks to other country. How about equal rights for all when it comes to medical bills. Half of us can't afford to be alive and the other half ride for free. Don't call us workers prejudice, we who pay have a right to say were getting a screw job.
May 9, 2014 4:16PM
No surprises here. The states that rejected Obamacare have residents with exploding ulcers. 
May 9, 2014 3:08PM


May 9, 2014 3:24PM
Looks like those conservative southern states are sucking hind tit again. USA! USA!
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