The 2020 census shows that the fastest growing states in the United States perform worst in terms of health quality and access to medical care for their residents. They have large numbers of uninsured adults, high rates of premature deaths from treatable illnesses, less investment in public health, too many people with mental illnesses unable to get the care they need and who need to faced with rising insurance costs. There are things that state and federal politicians and private sector executives can do to significantly improve health at the state level.
The 2020 census highlighted trends in the geographic distribution of Americans that can be bad news for their health unless policymakers and private sector leaders act to address significant shortcomings in health and health systems which more and more Americans live.
The fastest growing states in the last decade, including Texas, Florida, and Georgia take last place in health and healthcare. This is because these states have large numbers of uninsured adults, high rates of premature deaths from treatable diseases, less investment in public health, too many people with mental illnesses who do not receive the care they need, and residents faced with rising insurance costs that affect health care less affordable than in many other parts of the country, according to the Commonwealth Fund.
Take Texas, which has added 4 million people in the past decade, the most of any state. Texas ranks 42nd overall on our health system performance measurements – largely because people in the state have difficulty getting and affording the health care they need. It has the highest non-insurance rate in the country, and fewer residents say they have regular health care – an important indicator of how well the health system is working. Texas also has the largest number of residents who say they have foregone required health care due to cost reasons, and health insurance costs account for a greater proportion of people’s income in Texas than in almost any other state. Texas is also one of 14 states that have not yet expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, leaving millions of working people uninsured.
Florida, which has grown by nearly 3 million people, has a similar story. It ranks 41st overall and its residents face many of the same health care access and affordability challenges as people who live in Texas, with many uninsured and high insurance costs. Another fast-growing state, Georgia, ranks 46th overall.Georgians have similar problems accessing health care as Texans and Floridians, but what stands out is preventable mortality: Georgia has one of the highest rates of premature premature (before 75 42nd at All three of these countries do poorly in other areas of health as well.
Overall, states that ranked at the bottom of the scorecard accounted for half of total population growth in the United States from 2010 to 2020.
What does all of this mean for the health of Americans? Geography doesn’t have to be fate. There are things that state and federal politicians and private sector executives can do to significantly improve health at the state level.
Recently, the Biden Administration and Congress have made more people eligible for assistance with their health insurance premiums according to the Affordable Care Act marketplace. At the moment, these more generous subsidies will last two years. Making it permanent would make health insurance more affordable to millions, including the 3.7 million people in Texas and Florida who signed up for insurance plans through ACA marketplaces. States could also expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act. In Texas, Florida, and Georgia, health insurance coverage would be on. expanded 2.7 million People.
Health insurance coverage is having a ripple effect. It is the main determinant of access to health care, and ensuring that more people have it is likely to improve other health interventions as well.
Also investing in public health made possible by the $ 350 billion granted to state and local governments under the American rescue plan, which President Biden signed in March, could improve the ability of underperforming states to tackle preventable causes of disease and death such as excessive maternal mortality, heart attacks, strokes, cancer and more.
After all, it is possible for people from healthier states to bring their better health and their commitment to collective health improvement with them to less healthy states. Migrants from states with more robust government health programs, including enhanced Medicaid, can support such investments at the polling booth in their new home states. This could mean that states that have been reluctant to invest in health care and improvements are more likely in the future. Business leaders who need a healthy workforce can help by letting state and local officials know the importance of prioritizing public health and expanding coverage.
Of course, in an ideal world, our health system would be good enough to provide affordable, high quality health care to the people of any state. To get there, you’ll need to invest in state and federal efforts that we know will work to give people the health care they need, no matter where they live.