Wyoming—Is Health Consciousness a Cowboy State of Mind?
The public-policy party line dividing blue and red states is general knowledge. Democratic—aka blue—states tend to allocate more money to social services and health care. It’s no surprise that scrappy Vermont, home of independent Bernie Sanders, tops the list of “most health conscious states.” But blue state Vermont has to share the title of most “health conscious state”—the state with the highest Health IQ score—with red state Wyoming.
Health care coverage and public health infrastructure are main talking points for the Democratic party. One would think blue state residents would naturally rise to the top of any metric of health. Yet millions of people have taken the Health IQ quiz—which measures health consciousness through integrative nutrition, medical, and exercise questions—and residents of red state Wyoming are collectively just as health conscious as residents of blue state Vermont. Here’s the breakdown of the podium finishers:
|State||Median Health IQ Score||RANK by Median Health IQ Score|
Wyoming: Emphatically Red
Donald Trump was the emphatic choice by Wyoming in 2016. 2 out of 3 people voted to make America great again. And Wyoming isn’t a wallflower at the red party. It has voted for only one Democratic candidate in a presidential election since 1952. As of 2018, Gallup reports that Wyoming has been the first or second most Republican state every year since 2008.
Health Care Spending in Wyoming: Low
U.S. News and World Report’s “Best States” (1) ranking placed Wyoming right in the center of the pack at 26th with a #1 ranking for power grid reliability—it’s a top coal producer, after all. But with health care access and health care quality close to the bottom at 42nd and 43rd, and public health at 33rd, Wyoming is toeing the party line on public health care spending.
Is Wyoming the Cowboy State of Health?
Conversely, although ranking Wyoming generally low in health care quality and access, U.S. News and World Report ranks Wyoming in the top ten for fewest hospital readmissions. Hospital readmissions have dropped across the country as a result of a cost-saving measures of the Affordable Care Act. Then again, perhaps it’s not so unexpected that residents in the individualistic, we’ll-do-it-on-our-own politics of the Cowboy State may take health prevention and recovery into their own hands.
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(1) U.S. News And World Report Best States —> https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/wyoming
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