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health care

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Beneath a purple poster for the Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and between shelves of books, a third grader slides into the vinyl dentist’s chair.

For most of the year, this space is the library at Congress Elementary in Grand Rapids. But since school began last week, this corner of the library has been a dentist’s office.

"Okay, open up big, I want to see those new teeth," says dental hygienist Julie Hilton.

Sarah Alvarez

Earlier this year, Jacquise Purifoy had a problem many people are familiar with. Purifoy is an attorney, but she was between jobs and tangled in health insurance red tape, so she and her daughter went without health insurance for about half a year.

Purifoy admits she may have "buried her head in the sand," a little bit. She also says a combination of pride and a desire not to take up scarce government resources kept her from seeing if she could qualify her 17-year old daughter Jasmine for Medicaid or MIchild.

Purifoy thinks she probably could have qualified for one of these state and federally funded insurance programs that come at no-cost to the beneficiary. But instead she made sure to take her daughter for a full range of preventative doctor visits before her insurance ran out, and then just hoped there wouldn't be an emergency before she was insured again. 

Then she got a call from Jasmine, who has asthma and a heart condition. 

Michigan to go with federal health exchange, for now

Nov 9, 2012
chickenlump / flickr

Tuesday night's election results not only offered President Barack Obama a second chance to get the economy moving, it also allowed his signature policy to stay in tact.

Even though the Affordable Care Act - aka Obamacare -  was modeled after Romney's own health care law in Massachusetts, the former Republican challenger vowed to begin efforts to repeal the bill his first day on the job.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

Infant mortality rates in Michigan are better than they used to be, but still not good enough. 

Seven out of every 1,000 babies born in Michigan will die before their first birthday. This isn't a statistic the state is proud of, and lately there's been a lot of effort put into lowering this number.

Michigan Resident Birth and Death Files, MDCH Division for Vital Records & Health Statistics / MDCH MCH Epidemiology Unit, 6/28/2012

Tomorrow, State of Opportunity's Jennifer Guerra will report on Michigan's infant mortality rate. The one-hour documentary will air Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Michigan Radio.

During the documentary, Guerra will interview many public health workers and researchers who will offer their hypotheses on why racial disparities exist in infant mortality rates. Here's a list of some of the top arguments.

#1: The 'social determinants of health'

Michigan, we have a problem

Sep 21, 2012

Following last week’s release of national poverty numbers, the Census Bureau released state specific numbers this week. Besides a drop in the uninsured, it doesn’t look good. 

Our colleagues at Marketplace wrote a comprehensive article about poverty rates across the country. The number that we’re most interested in, though, is the increase in children living in poverty.

How to help people and banish burnout

Sep 18, 2012

Health insurance is such a political issue, talked about all the time and so dispassionately, that it can be easy to forget just how important it is to some families. But, last year the Census estimated paying for health care pushed at least 10 million Americans into poverty. In Washtenaw County, the Census estimates there are almost thirty-three thousand people without medical insurance.

Weekend Wrap-Up

Sep 14, 2012
courtesy American Enterprise Institute

It’s been a busy week here at State of Opportunity, so here’s all the stuff you might’ve missed.

1. Charles Murray speaks with State of Opportunity

At first, the news from the Census Bureau today seems really good. The agency's most recent report on poverty and health coverage shows that poverty has held steady and health insurance coverage has increased.

Hey, I'll take it because it's always good and increasingly rare, to see numbers going in the right direction.

But the numbers are still really high. Fifteen percent of the country's population is living in poverty, and 15.7 percent is uninsured.