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Quality of Tennessee Health Care Rated “Weak”

July 15, 2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - With health care on the front burner in Washington, the federal government Web site Healthreform.gov rates Tennessee's quality of health care as "weak." The statistics for preventive care in the state also indicate a need for improvement, according to Michelle Johnson with the Tennessee Justice Center. Johnson says failure to catch health problems early has negative consequences.

"It just results in higher medical costs downstream, and loss of life as well."

The Web site says 22 percent of Tennessee women over age 50 have not received a mammogram in the past two years and 41 percent of Tennessee men over 50 have never had a colon cancer screening.

Michelle Johnson says the Healthreform.gov Web site also shows much better health care quality for middle- and high-income Tennesseans than for low-income residents.

"The disparities in Tennessee are among the greatest in the nation."

One of the primary objectives of federal health care reform now under consideration is to provide adequate health insurance for low-income Americans.

Opponents charge that the solutions offered are too expensive and are unfair to private insurance companies.

The Web site is: healthreform.gov

Dan Gordon/Bill de Armond, Public News Service - TN