USA Today reported this week on a Commonwealth Fund analysis of variations in child health care across the US. Excerpt:
"The report found that top-performing states tend to have lower rates of uninsured children than those ranked at the bottom but also have higher health costs.
While other studies have considered how children fare, this is the first to compile an array of 13 measures relating to access to medical care, quality and cost for children in each state. Overall, Iowa ranked first and Oklahoma ranked last."
On the USA Today website, read some of the reader comments following the piece if you want to get one taste of some readers' views of children, of health care, of public policy.
Sean Kenney, PhD, of the Consumer Worker Coalition and the Labor Management Health Care Coalition, wrote to me:
"There are many messages here. A few to think about from consumer and worker perspective:
- Obviously, state policy (or lack thereof) and care practices vary greatly from state to state.
- Pace of change: The issue of children needing and benefiting from immunizations has been around for over 40 years. Yet we lack an information system approach to monitor immunization status. One reason is because there is little financial incentive for public health. When will pace of change improve?
- Minnesota is listed #23 in the rankings; about middle of the pack. While kudos are many for Minnesota health care, it is sad to see that all of our border states rate higher: i.e. Iowa (#1!; Wisconsin ( 11 ) ; No. Dakota (21 ); So. Dakota (16).
We don't have figures on our northern border ( Canada) but expect we fall behind their status as well!"