SacBee: California ranks 20th of all states in new health index

Published: Thursday, Sep. 19, 2013 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Thursday, Sep. 19, 2013 – 12:14 am

It’s really nothing to write home about: Overall, California ranks 20th of 50 states in health careclimate, according to a study that measures factors ranging from tooth loss to obesity to accessibility of health care.

The Commonwealth Fund’s scorecard provides the first state-by-state, in-depth comparison between the health care experiences of low- and high-income Americans.

The report defines low-wage earners as those making 200 percent of the federal poverty levelor less: $47,000 annually for a family of four, or $23,000 per individual. Higher wage earners are defined as making 400 percent of poverty or more, with a baseline of $94,000 for a family of four.

Huge differences also emerged based on where people live.

“The most striking finding in this report is that those with lower incomes in states that rank well do better than those of higher incomes in the lagging states,” said Dr. David Blumenthal of theCommonwealth Fund. “Where you live plays a big part in your health care experience.”

In Hawaii, for example, the top-ranked state (and also the happiest state, according to other ratings), the experiences of low-income people were reportedly better than those for high earners residing in West Virginia, a state low on the health index.

California had its high points. Fewer people here lose their teeth – counted as six or more – to decay or disease. In California, only 10 percent met that threshold, compared to the 16 percent experiencing tooth loss nationwide. Of Californians in the higher income category, 4 percent lost six or more teeth, compared to the national average for that group of 5 percent.


2 Responses to “SacBee: California ranks 20th of all states in new health index”
  1. Doreen says:

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