States With Improved Children's Health Have Lower Rates Of Uninsured Kids
Children in states withhigher rates of insured children are more likely to receive higher-qualityhealth care, according to a CommonwealthFund study releasedWednesday, McClatchy/Kansas City Star reports. Researchers used data on13 health care indicators to rank all 50 states and Washington, D.C.,in five subcategories: health care access, quality, cost, equity and healthoutcomes. The study, titled "U.S Variations in Child Health SystemPerformance: A State Scorecard," found that expanded insurance coveragethrough programs such as Medicaid and SCHIP is "critical" forimproving quality of care for children in every state.
According to the study, 4.7 million additional U.S. children would have healthinsurance and 11.8 million more would receive recommended yearly checkups ifall states achieved the coverage rates of the highest-ranking states (Wong, McClatchy/Kansas City Star, 5/27). In addition, nearly 800,000additional children would be current on their vaccinations (Appleby, USA Today, 5/27). U.S. Census Bureau data show that 8.7 million U.S. children were uninsured in 2006 (McClatchy/Kansas City Star, 5/27).
According to the study, Iowa and Vermont rankedfirst and second, respectively, overall, while Floridaand Oklahomawere 50th and 51st, respectively. However, according to Commonwealth Fund vicepresident for child development and preventive care Edward Schor, no stateranked high in all measures (Boulton, MilwaukeeJournal Sentinel, 5/27). The report also found:
- States with higher rates of insurance were more likely to have higher health care costs per child;
- The percentage of children receiving five annual vaccinations between 19 months and 35 months of age was highest in Massachusetts, which had a 94% vaccination rate, and lowest in Nevada, which had a 67% vaccination rate; and
- Michigan had the lowest rate of childhood uninsurance with 5%, while Texas had the highest with 20% (USA Today, 5/28).
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