Progress on global poverty and disease at risk, Gates says

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LONDON, Sept 13 (REUTERS) – Proposed United States budget cuts could put in jeopardy great progress in reducing global poverty and disease and lead to 5 million more deaths from AIDS alone, the philanthropist Bill Gates warned on Wednesday.

Gates, whose Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a major provider of global health and development funding, said there was currently “more doubt than usual about the world’s commitment to development”.

A global health report by the foundation, co-authored by the Gates and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington (IHME), analysed progress against diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

It also tracked rates of poverty, maternal and infant death, access to contraception, sanitation and other development issues. Forecasting good and bad future scenarios, it found millions of lives hanging in the balance.

In a telephone briefing about the findings, Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation, said remarkable progress had been made in recent decades but that shifting priorities, instability and potential budget cuts could lead the world to turn away, jeopardising the gains.

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Health Buzz: The 10 Best States for Health Care

 

Health Buzz The 10 Best States for Health CareIf you want to get the best health care, you might be better off living in one of these states, according to a new ranking.

Hawaii, Iowa and Minnesota topped WalletHub’s new ranking of the best states for health care. The ranking took into account 35 metrics in the categories of cost, accessibility and health outcomes.

Among access-to-care metrics, the highest percent of insured adults (ages 18 to 64) live in Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, Vermont, Hawaii and Minnesota. The lowest live in Georgia, New Mexico, Nevada, Florida and Texas.

As for outcome metrics, like lowest cancer rate, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and Utah ranked in the top five, while New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Delaware and Kentucky ranked in the bottom five.

U.S. News ranks its own Best States for Health Care, in which Hawaii also stands at No. 1.

Health care concerns, though always present, have been thrust into the national conversation even more this year amid legislative attempts to reform former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

The Senate recently failed to pass a health care bill. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) voted against the Republicans’ attempt to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

A recent report from the Commonwealth Fund found that the U.S. has the worst health care system compared to other high-income countries. The U.S. ranked lowest for health outcomes despite outspending its peers, according to the report.

But in its own health care analysis, the Kaiser Family Foundation discovered the U.S. system has made progress, especially with “its ability to promote health and provide high-quality care, with some recent improvement in the accessibility of that care and a slowing of spending growth.”

Americans typically spend approximately $10,000 each year on personal health care, and that number is expected to rise, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

WalletHub’s top 10 states for health care are listed below, and a complete list can be found here.

Overall Rank State ‘Outcomes’ Rank
1 Hawaii 1
2 Iowa 13
2 Minnesota 8
4 New Hampshire 7
5 District of Columbia 37
6 Connecticut 5
7 South Dakota 24
8 Vermont 3
9 Massachusetts 2
10 Rhode Island 10