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Florida's Third World Health

Florida may be a fine place to visit. It’s not so comfortable when it comes to health care—if you can’t afford it. It’s fine for those with government-backed insurance—the Medicare class, primarily (Medicaid recipients aren’t as fortunate, at least not in Florida, where providers are scarce and care is stingy).

First Reads: Oct. 8

The commonwealth Fund, a New York-based private foundation that promotes high-quality care for the needy, released its latest state-by-state report card on health indicators. Florida ranks next-to-dead last, in percentage of individuals without health insurance (Thank Bush for Texas, which is last). In the nation, 20 percent of adults and 10.4 percent of children are uninsured. The rates in Florida: 25.9 percent of adults are uninsured, and 18 percent of children.

Florida ranks 44 th in overall health ranking, which averages out factors including access (42 nd), prevention and treatment (36 th), avoidable hospital use and costs and other factors. If the state had a more civilized health-care system, more than 2 million people without insurance today would be insured, including more than half a million children. Some 265,000 adults with diabetes would receive the care they should be receiving, but currently don’t. Preventive care would reduce the cost of eventual hospital admissions by $253 million in any given year. And 3,300 people would not die prematurely due to the absence of basic care.

 
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