Child Healthcare

Katherine - posted on 02/10/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )

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n a perfect world, children's health care would be top quality across the board, and no child would ever have to endure inferior care or no care at all. Unfortunately, in the real world, children's health care varies widely, and where one lives can really affect his or her health. The Commonwealth Fund recently released a state scorecard that shows which states fare the best ... and worst.

They looked at 20 key health system indicators to determine things like access and affordability, prevention and treatment, and potential to lead healthy lives. While they said some states clearly outperformed others, there is room for improvement in all states.

So how did your state fare?

The top states include: Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Minnesota, Connecticut, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Washington.

Those states in need of the most improvement include: California, Nevada, Mississippi, Arizona, Texas, and Florida.

Overall, the report found much need for improvement.

“While children were able to gain and keep their health insurance thanks to Medicaid and CHIP, parents lost coverage as the job market deteriorated and cost of health insurance rose to unaffordable levels,” said Cathy Schooner, the Commonwealth Fund’s senior vice president and coauthor of the report. “The study demonstrates how policies designed to maintain children’s health insurance and access to health care have helped children get the health care they need, especially in tough economic times. Yet, because so many parents are uninsured, children and their families will remain at high risk until 2014, when access to health insurance will be expanded to include nearly everyone in the U.S.”

Researchers say the worst states should learn from the best states, and if they could perform as well as they do:

* 5.6 million additional children would have health insurance;
* 10.2 million more children would receive routine preventive medical and dental check-ups;
* Nearly 600,000 more children would be up-to-date on their vaccinations; and
* 8.8 million more children would have a medical home.

Time to start learning, people.

What improvements do you think need to happen in your state regarding children's health care?


Image via glassblower/Flickr

11 Comments

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Rosie - posted on 02/10/2011

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iowa is my state and i'm very happy we are the highest ranked in childcare. hopefully that won't change much after our new asshat of a governor starts changing everything. he's already cut funding for preschool. he doesn't give a shit about iowas children.

i know if i didn't have state coverage called hawk-i my kids wouldof definitely gone without alot of things. i'd also owe probably over $300,000 to hospitals and specialty clinics by now. no way i could've afforded it. they would've gone without until they got really sick i'm sure.

Marylea - posted on 02/10/2011

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I also live in Canada and I must say I have the up most respect for our health care system. I think it gets taken for granted alot of the time. My daughter was in the hospital for the first 4 months of her live and it didn't cost us a dime. It was during that time that I truly developed sense of pariotism. I feel very fortunate and thankful to live in a country with socialized health care.



Marylea

Becky - posted on 02/10/2011

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Also in Canada and it appalls me that there are still developed countries where not all children have equal access to health care. Fortunately, my children have not yet needed any really major care, but we have used the emergency at our local Children's Hospital a few times and Zach had surgery there a few weeks ago. I can't even say how thankful I am that we have that facility and that we can access it at anytime, without having to worry about money, being turned away, etc.

Sarah - posted on 02/10/2011

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I'm from Texas & my son is currently on the Texas Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). We enrolled him in CHIP, because my husband's old job didn't provide any health insurance. I've been very happy with my son's health insurance so far. One of the best qualities it has is that they accept "pre-existing medical conditions" unlike a lot of other private insurance companise. My son was born with hypospadias & is having his surgery in about 2 months. I'm VERY thankful for CHIP, because otherwise we would be paying about $15,000 for a 2 hour surgery! Insane!

Shauna - posted on 02/10/2011

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eh, nebraska isnt on the list. I have *pay* 250 bucks a month to have health insurance on my child. Then have all the premiums etc. It sucks paying for it, but its a nesecity and we just do it and can afford it. But i do know its pretty easy to get public healthcare... medicaid.. if your income doesnt allow you to afford healthcare. So i dont konw.

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Our's? Nothing. Hawaii is awesome at covering kids. It is super easy for them to qualify for state healthcare and 100% of everything is covered (at least everything we've run across so far).

Sarah - posted on 02/10/2011

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I think it's disgusting that kids are having to go without healthcare.
But then I think it's disgusting that adults have to go without health care too!
It's something I will never be able to wrap my head around.
The NHS isn't perfect.........but bloody hell I'm eternally thankful for it!

Tara - posted on 02/10/2011

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I couldn't imagine being a parent and having to worry about health care for my children.
In Canada everyone has health coverage, regardless of age, sex, level of income etc. etc.
If my child required medical care and I was unable to access that care due to finances, location or other obstacles I would feel like I had failed my child.
When my kids are ill, I call my family doctor, he fits us in that day, any tests, blood work, xrays, diagnostic imaging, blood work etc. etc. is all covered by Health Canada.
If my kid needs surgery or a specialist, again all covered.
And for those that complain about wait times etc.
My daughter saw our family doctor the end of January, she was referred to a ped. her appointment is the first week of march.
Either way, I can't really comment on the OP except to say.... I feel for anyone who has to worry about the quality of care their child is getting or whether they can afford it or not...

Stifler's - posted on 02/10/2011

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I live in Australia so our healthcare is pretty good. Children under 16 are bulk billed so you pay nothing and don't put off going to the doctor until pay day if they are ill and you don't have the money or clog up the emergency room. In general there needs to be more awareness of nutrition.

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