Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Iowa, Mass. Lead U.S. in Children's Health Care

Report: Wide Variation in Children's Health Care Seen Across the Map
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Feb. 2, 2011 -- Children who grow up in New England and the Upper Midwest get better health care than children in other states, especially those who live in the South and Southwest. That’s according to a new report card that ranks all the states based on their children’s health care policies.

The new report card, issued by the Commonwealth Fund, ranks states based on access to and affordability of health care, prevention and treatment, the ability to live a healthy life, and health system equity. It comes two years after the federal government reauthorized and expanded the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and these efforts may have helped to offset some of the negative effects of the recession on children’s health care, authors of the report said during a telephone news briefing.

But “where children live matters, and it shouldn’t,” says Cathy Schoen, a senior vice president for policy, research, and evaluation at the Commonwealth Fund, a health care research group based in Washington, D.C.

Top 5 States for Healthy Kids

According to the new report card, the top five states for children’s health care are:

  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • Vermont
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire

The five states that fared the worst are:

  • Florida
  • Texas
  • Arizona
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada

Children in the top-performing states are far more likely to be insured and to receive the recommended medical and dental screening tests.

In 2009, 3% of children were uninsured in Massachusetts, compared to 17% to 18% in Nevada, Florida, and Texas, the new report shows.

“There are wide gaps between leading and lagging states for oral health problems, obesity, and smoking rates," says Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund.

If the lagging states caught up, 5.6 million more children would have insurance and 10.2 million more children would receive preventive care (including 600,000 more kids who would be up to date with all their childhood vaccines).

As to what separates the leaders from the laggers, Davis says that states that fared well tend to look at the big picture, she says. “They are focused on getting people into the care system, but also on having the care system think about healthy children, not just those at the hospital door,” she says.

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.

worried kid
jennifer aniston
Measles virus
sick child

Child with adhd
rl with friends
Syringes and graph illustration