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24/7 Wall St.: The 10 States Dying for Health Coverage

2. Louisiana

Excess deaths from a lack of insurance (per 100,000): 14.94
Pct. of population uninsured: 17.8% (10th highest)
Pct. living below the poverty line: 18.7% (6th highest)
Life expectancy at birth: 75.39 years (4th lowest)

Louisiana has one of the lowest life expectancies at birth in the U.S. at 75.4 years. Though much of this certainly can be attributed to poor health choices — the state has a higher number of smokers and its residents eat comparatively little fruit or vegetables — the inability of many residents to receive proper care due to lack of insurance is also a contributing factor. In Louisiana, 17.8% of the population goes without health insurance, despite the fact that 21.9% of the population qualifies for Medicaid — the fifth-highest proportion among all 50 states. The high uninsurance rate is partly due to the relative economic disadvantage of the state’s residents. With 18.7% of residents living below the poverty line — the sixth-highest rate in the nation — and a median income that is more than $5,000 lower than the U.S. average, just 58.39% of the population have private insurance. That is the fourth-lowest such rate in the nation.

(iStock Photo)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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