Report: Uninsured kids propel Florida's low health care rating

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Thank goodness for Texas, Arizona, Mississippi and Nevada. Without those states’ abysmal child health systems, Florida’s would rank last in the nation, according to a new analysis compiled by the Washington-based Commonwealth Fund. Still, at 47th overall, the Sunshine State’s efforts to ensure that children receive timely, effective health care fall far short of the national standard. The group’s report card included all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. Georgia didn’t do much better, finishing 43rd in the ranking. Individual state scores were based on 20 health indicators. They include a state’s insurance coverage rates, typical premium costs to families, the percentage of children who see a regular doctor, infant mortality rates and childhood obesity statistics. Insurance rates depended not only on geography but also race: Florida’s uninsured rate of more than 20 percent among black children was the highest in the country, according to the report. Florida’s low ranking was driven by its high rate of uninsured children, said Cathy Schoen, one of the report’s authors. The state’s 17.8 percent was second only to Texas, with 18 percent. Both states could dramatically lower their uninsured rates if they raised the maximum a family could earn to be eligible for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Schoen said. Continue reading this story from the Florida Times-Union here.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.