A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

New State Numbers on Uninsured Adults -- and Some Quick State Notes

New State Numbers on Uninsured Adults -- and Some Quick State Notes

April 28, 2005

A great new Robert Wood Johnson study provides state by state estimates on numbers of uninsured adults and uninsured adults with jobs. Among uninsured adults, best states were Minnesota (8.3%), Hawaii (9.8% -- love that employer mandate!), and Deleware (10.2%). Worst states -- Texas (30.7% -- helloooo Mr. President), Louisiana, 26.4%) and New Mexico (26%). Uninsured among adults with jobs -- same order, but look -- MN 6.9, HW 8.5, NM 22.6, LA 22.6, TX 26.6. Across the board, more than 80 percent of uninsured, state by state, are folks who work every day and pay taxes.

And how do we do in Massachusetts? We have the 4th best rate of uninsured adults at 11.2%, ditto for uninsured adults with jobs, 10.3%. Here's some data to chew on... uninsured whites in Massachusetts, 8.5%; uninsured blacks, 20.8%, and uninsured Hispanics, 32.8%.

Quick followup notes:

The Mass. House may be wrapping up its budget debate as early as today. Thus far, news for health care access has not been encouraging. Hospital leaders are distracted trying to restore $120 million in cuts to the Free Care Pool, and there's a dearth of money and political will to address access needs thus far. If you haven't done so, please visit our site to send an email to your legislator.

In Tennessee, Gov. Bredesen is now proposing to cut 226,000 from TennCare instead of 323,000. All enrollees would be limited to five prescriptions per month, only two of which could be brand name.

Meanwhile, health reform talk in Vermont is boiling. The House passed a plan last week 86 to 58 calling for a state run health insurance program by 2007, with an assured veto from the governor. The Senate is working on a plan that could attract some Republican support, and is proposing a 3% payroll tax on employers who don't cover their workers. Check out recent coverage by clicking here.