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Kentucky's Health Ranking Shows Slight Uptick

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Kentucky has made some progress in improving the health of its citizens. The proof is found in some recent national ratings.

Kentucky moved up three spots from 45th to 42nd in the rankings by  The United Health Foundation.  The annual report ranks states based on 35 measures of behavior, community and environment, policy, clinical care, and outcome. 

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky President Ben Chandler says improved access to care helped the Commonwealth move up. “So many more people now are insured in Kentucky. That has become one of our strengths, a population with a lot of people with access to health insurance,” said Chandler.

Chandler says his group is pushing for a dollar increase in the cigarette tax. That tax, he says, will further help improve the health of the Commonwealth.  “We think it’s more realistic this time than it has been in the past because of the revenue needs.  Obviously there’s a pension problem,” noted Chandler.  “The state needs to get money to access the federal Medicaid dollars.”

He says he’s been meeting with legislative leaders and pushing hard for an increase in the cigarette tax.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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