Commonwealth Fund finds wide disparities in kids' health care

Some very conservative states, like Alabama, ranked well. Some very liberal places like New Jersey and Oregon ranked poorly.

Commonwealth Fund scorecard on kids’ healthThe non-partisan Commonwealth Health Fund, founded 90 years ago by Standard Oil heiress Anna M. Harkness, has a new study out on childrens' health care which makes great reading.

The fund ranked all the states, and the District of Columbia, based on how kids make out on access to and quality of their healthcare, costs, equity, and the potential to lead a healthy life.

The results were surprising, and non-partisan. Some very conservative states, like Alabama, ranked well. Some very liberal places like New Jersey and Oregon ranked poorly.

But generally it's a red-blue divide. Iowa ranked highest, scoring poorly only on equity. Oklahoma was dead last, 51st, ranking in mid-table only on costs.

What made the difference, the study said, was access to health insurance. In states with poor health insurance policies:

Rates for receipt of recommended preventive care are generally low in these states, while rates of infant mortality and risk of developmental delay are often high.

Lack of health insurance kills, and it kills the young most efficiently.

A few more notes:

  • Vermont is the most equitable state, but also ranks 44th on costs costs.
  • Alabama has good access, quality and cost controls, but still ranks 48th on the potential of a child to lead a long, healthy life.
  • California ranks 34th overall, but 15th on potential for a long, healthy life.
  • Utah is the biggest surprise, ranking 26th, dinged for access, quality and equity.

Use the links, especially to the chart, and let me know what you think. Oh, and if you want to call the group names, here are the names of the board of directors.