Amid the ongoing debate over America’s health care policies, WalletHub released a study looking at which states offer the best and worst coverage. The website’s analysts compared the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, focusing on cost, accessibility and outcome.

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The top 10 states, according to WalletHub, include:

  1. Hawaii

  2. Iowa

  3. Minnesota

  4. New Hampshire

  5. District of Columbia

  6. Connecticut

  7. South Dakota

  8. Vermont

  9. Massachusetts

  10. Rhode Island

The top 10 worst states include:

  1. Alaska

  2. Arkansas

  3. North Carolina

  4. Georgia

  5. South Carolina

  6. Alabama

  7. Florida

  8. Nevada

  9. Texas

  10. Tennessee

From their data, the five states with the highest percent of residents who were insured also appeared on the top 10 list for best overall care. Research from 1993 and 2009 has indicated that lack of coverage negatively impacts mortality. The team behind the 2009 study believe the uninsured live shorter lives because they often go without necessary treatments and have less access to preventative care. 

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While it may seem like the states with the most and least affordable care would have the highest and lowest number of insured residents, this was not the case, highlighting just how complex the issue can be. Numerous factors, such as cost of living, yearly average income, and demand could account for the discrepancy.

As The Motley Fool reported, the cost of health care varies drastically by state. Some places, as in the case in Alaska, don’t have enough healthy people buying insurance to offset the costs paid out by companies. The article explains that predominantly rural areas with small populations, like Wyoming, also tend to have higher premiums. And while WalletHubs data suggests that Arizona residents benefit from some of the lowest premiums, The Motley Fool explains that the cost has drastically increased in 2017, in part because suppliers are pulling out of the marketplace put in place under The Affordable Care Act.

The law, which has been contentious since passing in 2010, has had both positive and negative consequences on our health care system. The New York Times examined its success in February of this year, determining that it made plans more complete, extended coverage to 20 million people and helped close the equality gap between rich and poor citizens. However, the system can be confusing, and insurance remained expensive for those who were not near the poverty line.

Despite the constant attention on improving American health care, we still lag behind other countries of comparable wealth, according to a report published in May by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The organization found that even with the gains of people covered by Obamacare, America has the lowest rate of insured citizens compared to countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France and Germany. The U.S. also has the lowest life expectancy, with Americans living to 79 while people from many European countries and Japan live into their early 80s.

Although President Donald Trump has vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare, two Republican-led attempts have failed and the Affordable Care Act remains in place. But providers have been pulling out of the marketplace in states across the country, leaving some with very few options. Marketplace Senior Health Reporter Dan Gorenstein believes this will cause many unsatisfied consumers to push their local lawmakers into taking action. “There is now an expectation that people should have access to care,” he explained. “And I think that's going to really push people in new directions.

See Also:

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Meet The Fattest Cities In America: WalletHub Releases List Of Most Obese Cities 2017​