Florida Slips Down A Few Notches On List Of Healthiest States

Florida Ranks 36th On List Of Healthiest States

The United Health Foundation released its annual “America’s Health Ranking” list for 2016 and Florida fell three notches to be ranked 36th.

Hawaii was ranked as the nation’s healthiest state for the fifth state year. Massachusetts finished behind Hawaii with Connecticut, Minnesota and Vermont trailing behind.

While Florida was 36th out of 50 states, Mississippi was the unhealthiest state followed by Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama and Oklahoma. The report has been released for 27 years, of that time span Mississippi has ranked last or next to last 25 out of those 27 years. In 1998 and 1991 the state ranked 48th.

Florida ranked 33rd in 2015, which reflects its high rate of residents with no health insurance, 15 percent. Only two states have higher rates than that, Texas and Alaska. Florida is also struggling with a high child poverty rate of 24.4 percent, with only six states having higher rates than Florida.

The rankings are based on 34 measures involving four health departments:behaviors, community and environment, policy and clinical care. Public health experts then reviewed the findings.

The Affordable Care Act gives the option of extending Medicaid coverage to adults who earn at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. The past three years the federal government paid for newly eligible Medicaid recipients.

“We have made important strides across the country against public health challenges; however, we are at a crossroads between a healthier future as a nation and a future in which troubling public health measurements become increasingly common,” said a statement from Reed Tuckson, external senior medical adviser to United Health Foundation, to the Miami Herald. “Of particular concern is the first-time rise in cardiovascular deaths, despite all the medical advances in this area. This data provides a roadmap for states, local communities and the public health sector to work together to get ahead of the challenges coming.”