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Wisconsin Ranks In Bottom Half Of States For Children’s Health

State Maintains High Rankings In Education, Economic Well-Being

Hallway at a children's hospital
Keith Srakocic/AP Photo

A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranks Wisconsin 12th in the nation for overall child well-being. But the state continues to rank in the bottom half of states for children’s health.

The 2017 Kids Count Data Book ranked Wisconsin 28th in the United States after comparing low birth-weight among babies, the number of kids without health insurance and other health indicators.

Ken Taylor, executive director of the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, said the state has made improvements to child health over the years.

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The main change is that other states are improving faster than we are,” Taylor said. “Many states are taking advantage of some of the things that are happening at the federal level, particularly through the Affordable Care Act, to improve health for kids, to improve the level of insurance for kids. We as a state chose not to do that.”

But those opposed to Medicaid expansion say aid for those in poverty isn’t the best way to improve children’s health.

“Helping our children, all of our children in Wisconsin, lead healthy lifestyles, I think the best approach is a growing economy where anyone who wants a job can find a job, a job that hopefully provides health insurance for their family,” said Brett Healy, president of the MacIver Institute.

Wisconsin did see improvements in the economic category of the report, ranking 8th in the U.S. The state is also in the top 10 states for education.