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Nation fails in women's health care

Report card on women's health, 2007

The grades:
S=Satisfactory, U=Unsatisfactory, F=Fail

State
2007 rank
2007 grade
Vermont
1
S-
Minnesota
2
S-
Massachusetts
3
S-
Connecticut
4
U
New Hampshire
5
U
Colorado
6
U
Hawaii
7
U
Maine
8
U
Washington
9
U
California
10
U
Rhode Island
11
U
Iowa
12
U
Montana
13
U
Oregon
14
U
Utah
15
U
Kansas
16
U
North Dakota
17
U
Nebraska
18
U
Arizona
19
U
New Jersey
20
U
Wisconsin
21
U
South Dakota
22
U
Virginia
23
U
Florida
24
U
Maryland
25
U
Alaska
26
U
New York
27
U
Wyoming
28
U
Delaware
29
U
Michigan
30
U
Ohio
31
U
Pennsylvania
32
U
Illinois
33
U
Idaho
34
U
New Mexico
35
U
North Carolina
36
U
Georgia
37
U
Missouri
38
U
Nevada
39
U
Indiana
40
F
Alabama
41
F
Texas
42
F
South Carolina
43
F
District of Columbia
44
F
Tennessee
45
F
Kentucky
46
F
West Virginia
47
F
Oklahoma
48
F
Arkansas
49
F
Louisiana
50
F
Mississippi
51
F
Source: "Making the Grade on Women's Health"

The United States overall gets a big "Unsatisfactory" grade when it comes to women's health care, according to the National Women's Law Center and the Oregon Health & Science University.

"Making the Grade on Women's Health: A National and State-by-State Report Card" is the organizations' annual report that assesses the overall health of women at state and national levels. No state received an overall "Satisfactory" grade.

The 2007 report card has two major findings: 1) States are falling increasingly behind in reaching national goals for women's health, and 2) Significant improvements need to be made in order to have any chance of reaching health objectives by 2010. These health objectives have been put forth by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS's) "Healthy People 2010."

The report card measures 27 benchmarks that indicate women's access to health care services, the degree to which they receive preventive health care and engage in health-promoting activities, the occurrence of certain women's health conditions, and the extent to which the communities promote health and well-being. See the full report on the National Women's Law Center Web site.

Missing benchmarks

The nation is failing to meet 12 of the 27 benchmarks, up from nine in the 2004 Report Card. Other notable benchmark news:

  • The most improved indicators were stroke and coronary heart disease death rates, but the country still receives an overall F grade in these.
  • All states declined in obesity status.
  • The most improved policies among states were coverage of smoking cessation services in Medicaid and increases in the minimum wage.
  • The most declined policies among states were co-payments on prescription dugs covered by Medicaid and requiring waiting periods for women who need an abortion.
  • Only two policy goals were met by all states: Medicaid coverage for breast and cervical cancer treatment and participation in the Food Stamp Nutrition and Education Program.

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