As Every Kid Healthy Week draws to a close, we get word of a new report that ranks the best and worst states when it comes to child health care. And the news is a bit sobering. Not only did Arizona fail to crack the top 10 or even the top 20…..our state finished near the bottom of the rankings. WalletHub.com has us ranked 49th overall.
WalletHub analyzed every state and Washington D.C. across what it referred to as “28 key indicators of cost, quality and access to children’s health care.”
The personal finance websites then gave each state a rank under three major overarching categories: kids’ health & access to health, kids’ nutrition, physical activity & obesity, and kids’ oral health.
Arizona ranked toward the bottom in all three — the state’s highest ranking was 38th for kids’ oral health.
According to the study, Arizona had some of the worst percentages of children ages 0 – 17 who are in excellent/very good health or who have insurance or affordable medical bills.
The Sonoran News listed a number of the metrics used and Arizona’s rank in each of them.
Children’s Health Care in Arizona (1=Best; 25=Avg.):
- 49th – % of Children Aged 0–17 in Excellent/Very Good Health
- 48th – % of Uninsured Children Aged 0–17
- 49th – % of Children Aged 0–17 with Unaffordable Medical Bills
- 39th – % of Overweight Children Aged 10–17
- 45th – % of Obese Children Aged 10–17
- 48th – % of Children Aged 1–17 with Excellent/Very Good Teeth
- 36th – % of Children Aged 0–17 with Medical & Dental Preventive-Care Visits in Past Year
This report comes on the heels of a government analysis that warns a number of states, including Arizona, may soon have to suspend programs that offer health coverage for children unless Congress reauthorizes funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Arizona, California, Minnesota, North Carolina and the District of Columbia will run out of CHIP funding by December 2017 unless Congress approves additional funds for the program, according to a report by the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC)….
MACPAC is urging Congress to act as soon as possible as state legislatures sessions will be winding down this summer. Some states may move to cancel their CHIP programs if they don’t have certainty that federal funding will continue commission members said.
It appears our state has some work to do. Share your thoughts on the new study ranking Arizona third from last in overall children’s health care and on the new government report that says our state may have some difficult choices to make if and when CHIP money is exhausted. Opening up the lines of communication to try to find solutions to the health issues facing our state is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!