A big health care fail: Texas ranked dead last in the country by federal medicalagency
We generally love being at the top of every ranking, which is why the latest findings from the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHCRQ) are tought to swallow.
According to the 12-item federal scorecard, the great Republic of Texas ranked "weak" or "very weak" in nine of 12 categories, including preventive measures, home healthcare measures and hospital care measures. Texas finished 51st in the country overall for healthcare — not only behind every other state, but also behind Washington D.C.
Texas recorded 31.61 points (out of a possible 100) on the ratings.
The one category in which Texas received a "good" rating was for Maternal Health and Child Health Care Measures.
Maybe the federal government is just out to get Texas, but there is no denying that we have the highest percentage of uninsured citizens of any state in the country. According to the Texas Medical Association's latest count, approximately 5 million Texans have no access to health insurance, as high as one in three people in major cities like Austin, Houston and Dallas.
Texas also has been in the news over the past year regarding the highly public defunding of Texas Planned Parenthood offices and other low-income women's health providers, largely due to the abortion debate.
When Gov. Rick Perry proposed a law to exclude Planned Parenthood from future state funding, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services supplied pressure by announcing it would in turn cut off all funding to Texas' family planning efforts. Thankfully, the funds are in position for now, but the future looks a bit bleak.
Ironically, though, the one category in which Texas received a "good" rating was for maternal health and child healthcare measures.
Clearly we've got some work to do. But first we need a bit of an attitude adjustment. And the best way I know to do that is to see who we're up against in the rankings and appeal to some Texas pride.
After all, filling out the top of the worst in the rankings are second-worst Kentucky, with two "average" rankings above us, and third-worst New Mexico, with three "average" rankings. Even West Virginia and Oklahoma ranked higher than Texas.
So if we're going to make it back up to the top of the herd, we need to start making some serious changes.
Only 50 places to go. You gotta love an underdog story.