It is sad that with every new report ranking states in terms of the quality of their health care, including expense and accessibility and the health of citizens, North Carolina continues to fare poorly. A new report by the personal finance website WalletHub ranks the state the fifth-worst in the country for health care. All 50 states and the District of Columbia were included.
North Carolina was next to last in health care cost, 44th in access and 36th in “outcomes,” which considered mortality, hospital visits and what percentage of people are immunized.
It was only a few months ago that The Commonwealth Fund found North Carolina ranked 35th in the health of its residents. Not good.
That study also found that states that had expanded Medicaid for more residents under the Affordable Care Act were healthier. North Carolina’s Republican leaders foolishly passed on the chance to expand Medicaid, which might have provided help to 500,000 more people. Obviously, the state’s rankings would have improved in both these surveys if Medicaid had been expanded.
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This state, home to nationally-respected university medical schools, should have much higher rankings in terms of the quality of health of residents. But to accomplish that, more people have to be covered and getting access to the kind of steady, preventative care that good insurance can provide.
The latest report should awaken some of the state’s leaders. A state such as North Carolina, which has long taken pride in all it has to offer when it comes to resorts, natural wonders and colleges and universities, ought to be able to pride itself as well on the good health of its residents and the state’s attentive care for them. Right now, North Carolina cannot boast about that.