Living in red states bad for kids' health

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies

The Every Child Matters Fund recently released a report in which they ranked the childrens' health of all 50 states. They found that kids living in the bottom ten states -- all states that voted for George W. Bush in 2004 -- were "twice as likely to die by age 14" than children in the top 10 states.

States were ranked based on their rate of death before the teen years, lack of adequate prenatal care, low birth weight, lack of insurance, and seven other factors -- combining the measures to create an overall child health ranking.

So why do Republican states score lower? According Michael Petit, head of the ECMF, "In red states, children have been hit hardest by an antitax, antigovernment ideology. And that ideology translates into less money available to spend to child health." Rhode Island spends $160 per capita on child welfare programs, while Mississippi spends only $20.

Petit proposes universal health insurance to solve the problem, but Republicans aren't so sure. "The solutions are not more government, but more power for the individual," says Nina Owcharenko, a policy analyst at a conservative Washington D.C. think tank.

What do you think? Is the government meeting your child's healthcare needs?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.
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