U.S. Gets 'Unsatisfactory' Grade on Women's Health
More Women Binge Drinking, Fewer Getting Pap Smears, Analysis Shows
Colorado had the lowest obesity rate in the nation, at just below 20%; Mississippi had the highest, at 34%.
When states were ranked in terms of successful implementation of policies designed to address access to health care, California, Nevada, and Massachusetts came closest to meeting policy goals and Mississippi, Idaho, and South Dakota were at the bottom of the list.
The report noted that about 12% of Americans live in areas that are considered medically underserved. The state with the highest percentage of medically underserved residents was Louisiana, at 34%. The state with the lowest was New Jersey, at 1%.
Nationally, more than a third of women live in counties without an abortion provider, according to the report. Nineteen states restrict private insurers’ ability to cover abortions, and 26 require that a woman receive counseling before obtaining an abortion.
In a news conference held Wednesday, National Women’s Law Center vice president for health and reproductive rights Judy Waxman said health care reform is poised to address many of the access issues of concern.
She says of 68 policies dealing with insurance coverage and other aspects of access to medical, fully two-thirds are addressed to some degree by the new law, known as the Affordable Care Act.
“From 2000 to 2010 we have seen some improvements, some declines, but overall, unfortunately, we still have a long way to go in terms of women’s health in this country,” she said. “The Affordable Care Act holds enormous potential for expanding coverage and, over time, improving women’s health.”