Report Shows Only 8 Of 50 States Have "Strong" Health Care Rating

KathleenSebelius 062609

Only eight out of 50 states have a "strong" health care quality rating, according to a series of reports presented by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The reports, released Friday, listed Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Dakota, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Wisconsin as the only states with "strong" quality ratings.

Twelve states, including eight in the south, were given "weak" ratings. Texas, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee were among the states given "weak" ratings. Louisiana was given a "very weak" rating. The remaining states were listed as "average."

Massachusetts was the strongest of the highly rated states. According to the report, only 2.6 percent of people in Massachusetts are uninsured, and 72 percent of employers offer insurance coverage.

On the other end of the spectrum, 20 percent of people in Louisiana are uninsured, and in New Mexico, only 48 percent of employers offer health insurance.

Michigan's rating as "strong" might be surprising, given the economic woes that have troubled the state, but only 11 percent of people are uninsured. Sixty-six percent of employers still provide coverage, although that number is down from 74 percent in 2000.

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