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Florida Cities Losing Ground On Key Health Care Indicators

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Commonwealth Fund
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Florida cities are losing ground on key health care indicators, according to a report released today.

The researchers say one reason for the decline is the state's decision to not expand Medicaid.

Cities including Tampa, Orlando and Miami saw their overall health ranking decline between 2012 and 2016.

The Commonwealth Fund report looked at 36 factors such as the number of people with health insurance and the quality of their care.

Sarah Collins is one of the study's authors. She says while Florida cities saw some improvements, other areas of the country improved more.

"So there was improvement but not as much improvement as we've seen in states like Kentucky that did expand their Medicaid programs," Collins said.

Of the 20 cities nationwide with the highest uninsured rates, five were in Florida.

Still, the uninsured rate for adults in Tampa improved 5 points to 21 percent. Miami and Orlando saw similar improvements. But each city still reported uninsured rates higher than the national average of 16 percent.

But the news isn't all bad, said scientist David Radley. Clearwater and Sarasota, for example, moved up several spots.

"You balance that against a couple of cities in Florida that stayed about the same and a couple that declined but there is some improvement, there are some bright spots in Florida," Radley said.           

Clearwater now ranks 158th out of 306 cities and Sarasota ranks 71st.

Julio Ochoa is editor of Health News Florida.