Healthcare

25 least healthy cities in America

Notice a pattern in the following list? Many of these locations have the strongest opposition to Obamacare and many did not expand Medicaid eligibility.  Any connection? 

In some of the least healthy cities in the U.S., average life expectancy is as low as it was 40 years ago. That finding comes from 24/7 Wall St., which created an index modeled after analysis conducted by County Health Rankings & Roadmaps — a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint program — to identify the least healthy U.S. cities.

For the first time in a decade, the death rate in the U.S. rose in 2015. Preliminary data shows the spike was partially driven by an increasing number of people dying from drug overdoses. Here are the 25 least healthy cities in the U.S., according to 24/7 Wall St.

1. Beckley, W.Va

2. Pine Bluff, Ark.

3. Hammond, La.

4. Mobile, Ala.

5. Albany, Ga.

6. Monroe, La.

7. Florence, S.C.

8. Gadsden, Ala.

9. Shreveport-Bossier City, La.

10. Macon, Ga.

11. Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, Ala.

12. Alexandria, La.

13. Charleston, W.Va.

14. Morristown, Ten.

15. Montgomery, Ala.

16. Memphis, Tenn.

17. Hot Springs, Ark.

18. Fort Smith, Ark.

19. Jackson, Miss.

20. Weirton, W.Va./Steubenville, Ohio

21. Tuscaloosa, Ala.

22. Huntington, W.Va./Ashland, Ky.

23. Jonesboro, Ark.

24. Farmington, N.M.

25. Rocky Mount, N.C. 

Source: 25 least healthy cities in America

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3 replies »

  1. Opposition to Obamacare reduces health? Opposition to Obamacare drives life expectancy? And, the distinct differences in health and life expectancy all presented themselves in the last six years since PPACA became law?

    You can’t show causality. In fact, you can’t even show a correlation. 13, over half of the cities in your list, actually have expanded Medicaid under PPACA. I can achieve a greater correlation by simply drawing the Mason Dixon line. You want a perfect correlation, a 1.0, none of these cities have a major league baseball team. That correlation has about as much relevance as whether the state embraced Medicaid expansion or adopted a state-based exchange.

    Causality, correlation to embrace of Health Reform?! What drivel!

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    • That was not the point. The point was that it appears the people most inclined to oppose Obamacare are some of the people who would most benefit from greater access to health care.

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      • “… the people most inclined to oppose Obamacare are some of the people who would most benefit from greater access to health care. …” But, again, over half of the cities in the study are in states that DID expand Medicaid per PPACA.

        More importantly, when you say “oppose Obamacare”, you appear to suggest that people in those cities would prefer the status quo ante PPACA. Just not true. The majority of Americans, in 2008 and since then, have wanted reform of the health coverage systems in America – it is just that the majority of Americans didn’t have coverage access as their #1 priority, but cost.

        And, just as important, as studies show in Oregon and elsewhere, access to Medicaid coverage is NOT a predictor of improved health. The trial Medicaid expansion in Oregon showed no statistical difference between those covered and those not covered. See: http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/05/02/oregon-study-medicaid-had-no-significant-effect-on-health-outcomes-vs-being-uninsured/#584d993273aa

        So, what is your point? Clearly, the data you identified do NOT confirm that: “… the people most inclined to oppose Obamacare are some of the people who would most benefit from greater access to health care. …”

        Again, if you are looking for correlations as predictors of poor population health, start with incomes, start with social factors (almost all come from states in the south), certainly, don’t start with “opposition to Obamacare” where over half of the cities on your list are in fact in states that DID expand Medicaid per PPACA.

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