Why the fastest-growing states have the worst healthcare: 4 things to know

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Texas, Florida and Georgia accounted for half of the aggregated population growth in the last decade. Yet these states rank last in health and healthcare for having a large number of uninsured adults, high amounts of premature death and unaffordable healthcare, according to a June 2 report published in Harvard Business Review.

The report is co-authored by David Radley, PhD, senior scientist for the Commonwealth Fund's Tracking Health System Performance initiative, and David Blumenthal, MD, president of the Commonwealth Fund. Dr. Blumenthal previously served as the national coordinator for health IT in the Obama administration. The following study findings are based on the Commonwealth Fund's research.

Four things to know:

  1. Texas grew by 4 million residents in the last decade, but ranks 42nd overall for health performance. In Texas, it is difficult for residents to get and afford the healthcare they need. Texas has the highest uninsured population rate nationwide.

  2. Texans report struggling to have a regular source of healthcare. Texas had the largest number of residents who reported skipping care they needed because of costs.It is one of 14 states that has not expanded Medicaid under provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which would have decreased the number of uninsured.

  3. Florida grew by 3 million residents and ranks 41st for healthcare performance. Floridians face similar challenges as Texans in trying to secure health insurance. Georgia ranks 42nd in both premature death rates from treatable conditions and for having one of the highest rates of infant mortality.

  4. Extending Medicaid programs in Texas, Georgia and Florida through the Affordable Care Act would bring health insurance to 2.7 million people.

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