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Don’t Put a Price on Health

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Trishna’s Tidbits

Modern Musings by Trishna Buch

According to an article by financial advice website, WalletHub, and reiterated in the Washington Post, it is extremely expensive to raise a child in the US. According to the Washington Post “families will shell out an average of $233,610 from birth through age 17—or about $13,000 a year—according to new figures from the government.” Furthermore, according to a report by the Health Care Cost Institute and stated in the WalletHub article “per-capita spending on children’s health care in 2014 reached $2,660—having increased by more than five per cent every year since 2010—due mainly to rising health care costs”.
In regards to the above, and because last week was Every Kid Healthy Week—analysts at WalletHub studied the 50 states and the District Of Columbia to determine how these locations ranked up, in regards to their healthcare for children.
To figure out the scores, analysts studied the locations across three categories: kids’ health & access to health care, kids’ nutrition, physical activity & obesity and kids’ oral health. Each category was studied across several factors including infant death rate, pediatricians & family doctors per capita, access to healthy food, share of overweight children, dental treatment costs and share of dentists per capita.
So how did Texas score? Frankly, not very well. The state came in 47th, meaning that it is the fifth worst state for children’s health care. The state came 20th in infant-death rate, 35th in percentage of children aged zero to 17 with unaffordable medical bills, 45th in pediatricians and doctors per capita and 49th in percentage of uninsured children aged zero to 17. In terms of the three categories, the state came in 47th with kids’ health & access to health care, 39th in kids’ nutrition, physical activity and obesity and 35th in kids’ oral health.
I am someone who loves kids. I have several young cousins who are the light of my life. I’ve substituted in schools, I’ve done field observations and I am currently earning a masters degree in Early Childhood Education. So this study really spoke to me. I think our state needs to do a lot more to protect the health of our youngest residents. Let’s make healthcare more affordable. Let’s make it more accessible. Let’s take some time and enjoy the outdoors. We spend too much time cooped up inside, with children whiling away the hours on the computer, television or iPad. Let’s spend some time and boost our health. We only have one body and we need to take care of it. My hope is that Texas earns a much higher score next year.

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