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The U.S. health care system faced new levels of scrutiny in the past year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. There were shortages of medical masks, ICU beds, as well as nurses. But even before the pandemic, some states were much better equipped to handle both everyday health needs -- and the pandemic -- than others.

There are many states in which residents are much more likely to lack health care insurance. In many of these states, there are also fewer medical professionals relative to the population, which can hinder access to care, as well as underfunded medical hospitals.

The health care system in Missouri ranks as the 22nd worst in the country.

Missouri is on the list of states with the worst health care system in the U.S. for several reasons. One is the higher uninsured rate than the national average. An estimated 10.0% of adult residents don't have health insurance, the 15th highest share in the country.

Another reason is the relatively limited access to health professionals compared to most other states. There are 70.3 primary care doctors per 100,000 residents in the state, compared to 75.8 per 100,000 across the U.S. Missouri also has lower concentrations of dentists and mental health providers per 100,000 residents than most states.

Missouri has one of the highest rates of people reporting poor or fair health, at 19.5% compared to 16.5% in the U.S. as a whole. The state also has one of the highest premature mortality rates at 404 residents dying before the age of 75 per 100,000 people. The national premature mortality rate is below 340 per 100,000.

To identify the states with the worst health care systems, 24/7 Wall St. constructed an index comprising six health measures for each state: the share of residents without health insurance, state spending on health care as well as on hospitals per capita, and the number of dentists, doctors, and mental health providers per 100,000 people. Each of these measures was weighted equally in the index. These are the 25 states with the worst health care system

 

RankStateUninsured rateAdults in poor or fair healthPremium contribution, single coverageState spending on health care per capita
25Wyoming12.3%15.3%$96.25$513
24Delaware6.6%16.3%$127.92$480
23Montana8.3%14.1%$93.50$167
22Missouri10.0%19.5%$109.83$332
21Nebraska8.3%13.8%$112.58$151
20Illinois7.4%15.9%$115.17$97
19Kentucky6.4%21.8%$121.08$98
18North Dakota6.9%13.6%$98.50$188
17South Carolina10.8%17.8%$111.58$247
16North Carolina11.3%18.0%$115.92$164
15West Virginia6.7%23.6%$113.08$160
14Oklahoma14.3%20.9%$115.25$223
13South Dakota10.2%13.4%$120.17$178
12Louisiana8.9%21.4%$122.08$101
11Alabama9.7%21.4%$132.75$117
10Arkansas9.1%23.3%$104.42$58
9Florida13.2%19.5%$120.17$225
8Idaho10.8%15.1%$73.08$104
7Tennessee10.1%21.2%$119.25$111
6Indiana8.7%18.2%$121.67$90
5Nevada11.4%19.1%$104.58$93
4Mississippi13.0%22.1%$109.08$133
3Arizona11.3%18.6%$126.92$81
2Georgia13.4%18.4%$108.25$119
1Texas18.4%18.7%$112.92$109

 

This article originally ran on 247wallst.com.

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