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Are Tennessee children getting adequate healthcare?


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  A new study says more American children have health insurance than at any point in history, but also says Tennessee children are still not getting adequate care.

Our WMOT reporting partners at Wallethub.com conducted the study. The personal finance website notes that it costs American parents about $230,000 to raise a child, with health care accounting for a big chunk of the bill.

Wallethub recently ranked the 50 states for best and worst children’s healthcare. Tennessee placed in the bottom half ranked 36th. The study ranked 30 key indicators, including cost, quality and access.

Wallethub analyst Jill Gonzalez says Tennessee kids are getting too many sugared drinks and too few fruits and vegetables leading to obesity. But she says the state’s children did reasonably well when it comes to oral health.

“We do see that kids are going to the dentist, most have teeth that are in good condition, and most kids aged zero to seventeen do have recent dental checkups.”

Gonzalez says there is a clear regional trend, with southern states scoring lower on child health than other parts of the nation.

She also says costs are clearly a factor.

“Out of pocket costs alone from 2012 to now for patients under the age of 18 increased by about 20 percent. So there is I think a reason why kids might not be getting to the doctor or to the dentist much.”

Would you like to review the complete Wallethub study?