Ohio residents are deeply concerned about the well-being of our children, but a recent report suggests that does not always translate into how we care for their health. In WalletHub’s ranking of the best and worst states for child health care by 2021, Ohio was among the worst 44 in the nation.
As the ranking was further broken down, Ohio was number 39 in child health and access to health care; a 17th not so bad in children’s oral health; and a terrifying 46th for children’s nutrition, physical activity and obesity. In fact, examining this category more closely, the state ranks 47th in terms of the number of overweight children.
The authors of the study noted some positive aspects, such as the very high percentage of children under 18 who have health insurance, but even commented that the number of people covered by health insurance has not translated in lower costs of medical care to parents.
In fact, given the toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on our state’s economy, financial problems are likely to have a lot to do with the study’s troubling findings. But that doesn’t mean throwing money at the problem helps. Certainly, there is a federal effort to do so, with massive spending on health care and child care raised on an infrastructure bill. It’s not where it belongs.
We can do a better job here at home by providing education and resources to parents as families try to be more active, eat better and make other healthy decisions.
Ohio can’t afford to wait for the federal government to get its ducks in a row. Our children are too important and we know we can do better.
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