Hospitals in Show-Me State Play the Shame Card
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, September 18, 2013
It would be hard to live in any state with these sorts of health statistics and not be embarrassed. For example, MHA reports that:
- Eleven counties in southeast Missouri and the City of St. Louis have average life expectancies less than 74 years. By comparison, Missourians living in these areas can expect to live two years less than the residents of Vietnam and Venezuela, and one year less than Hondurans and Lebanese. On average, they will enjoy the same life span as the population of Iran.
- At 71.3 years, Pemiscot County would have the 85th lowest life expectancy in the world if it were a country—just below El Salvador with an average life expectancy of 71.4 years.
- In 2011, 75% of Missouri's uninsured adults were in the workforce. However, many low-income blue collar and service industry workers lack access to employer-sponsored insurance, while Medicaid coverage is limited.
- In 2013 a single working parent of two can earn no more than $9.59 per day to qualify for Medicaid in Missouri. By contrast, the average daily income in Angola is $13.35. Because of these strict eligibility standards, a large number of Missouri's uninsured are low-income working adults in blue collar and service collar industries.
- On average, an uninsured Missourian was treated in a hospital emergency department every minute of every day in 2012. Throughout the last eight years, ED visits by the uninsured have increased 83% in Missouri, from more than 300,000 in 2004 to nearly 560,000 in 2012.
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