Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

October 28, 2013

BRIAN HOWEY: Political obstacles for an unhealthy Indiana

State GOP shows little concern for Hoosiers' well-being.

As the focus turns from the manu-factured shutdown/default crisis in Congress to the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, there is one thing Hoosiers should focus on. Indiana is not a healthy state.

Indiana ranked 41st in total health, according to America’s Health Rankings. It was ranked 37th in 2011. In 2000, Indiana’s obesity rate was 19.9 percent, ranking 42nd in the U.S. In 2012, it was 30.1 percent. Our smoking rate has gone down from 27 percent in 2000 to 21.2 percent last year, or 1.5 million smokers, but that is still high enough to rank us 44th. In 2001, our diabetes rate was 6 percent. Now it is 9.8 percent, ranking Indiana 33rd. We rank 38th in heart disease. Indiana is 49th in air pollution at 13.1 micrograms of fine particles per cubic meter.

In the past decade, the percentage of children in poverty more than doubled from 10.8 percent to 23.6 percent. Some 13.5 percent of our households are “food insecure,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In the past year, the number of infectious disease cases rose from 7.8 to 11.7 cases per 100,000.

I’ve reported this before, but once again, 2.7 million Hoosiers (out of 6.5 million) walked into a hospital emergency room last year, and consumers ultimately pick up those costs. Thirty Indiana counties have no obstetrics services. Because of this lack of prenatal and postnatal care, Indiana’s infant mortality rate is a stunning 7.7 per 1,000 babies, a full percentage above the national average. From 2006 to 2010, according to the Indiana Department of Health, 4,115 Hoosiers died by suicide.

Indiana State Police busted a record 1,726 meth labs in 2012, up from 1,437 in 2011. And we have a prescription drug overdose “epidemic,” according to Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

So this resistance to Obamacare is baffling in a public health sense. Politically, it has drawn the most vociferous opposition since the Vietnam War. But from a policy standpoint, at least it is trying to address an overall situation that should induce a “crisis” atmosphere from our public servants.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Vasicek: Celebrating Easter I have shared a few bits of Easter humor over the years, so I thought I’d start with a new one. Joseph of Arimathea was the wealthy Pharisee who is famous for helping to bury the body of Jesus. He procured the body, asking Pilate’s permission, and, w

    April 20, 2014

  • Public Eye: Was Turner the only one?

    CNHI Statehouse Bureau Chief Maureen Hayden and other Statehouse reporters didn't get an answer as to why the House ethics committee hearing concerning State Rep. Eric Turner was postponed, but it now appears the committee will meet Wednesday. A note

    April 20, 2014

  • DAY: God trusted us with them Well, you heard about my wife and I, and our families from the past, so it is time for me to tell you about two of the prettiest girls I have ever known. They are our daughters Debbie and Patty. They are the greatest gifts from God that we have had i

    April 19, 2014

  • LoBianco: Bigger ethics questions raised in House Turner review

    Members of the House Ethics Committee who will take up Rep. Eric Turner’s case face daunting tasks as they try to answer two questions: Did their powerful colleague violate any ethics rules in privately lobbying against a measure that would have hurt his family’s business?

    April 18, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 18, 2014

    Attendees at the Tipton County Board of Commissioners meeting April 7 were treated to an appalling lack of both action and concern by the commissioners.

    April 18, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor: April 17, 2014

    On March 20 of this year I attended a public meeting of the Tipton County Economic Development Alliance. Members of this group include the three county commissioners, a member of the county council, two members from the city council, and the mayor.

    April 17, 2014

  • Hicks: Measuring the unmeasurable

    One aspect of economic research I think is especially powerful is the ability to measure or monetize the things that humans clearly value but for which a market price is not necessarily apparent. This is one of the aspects of economic analysis that gives it such dominance over other social sciences.

    April 17, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: Bush presents 'The Art of Leadership'

    On April 5, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” opened at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The display, which runs through June 3, boasts “portraits of more than two dozen world leaders” painted by Bush, according to the official literature.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bohanon: ‘Economics is fun’ in Vegas or in Bible study

    I am writing this on an airplane to Las Vegas. I’ll be attending the annual conference of the Association of Private Enterprise Education along with two of my colleagues and six of my students.

    April 16, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 16, 2014

    At the time the agenda for the April 7 commissioner meeting came out, I was happy to see that the neglected commissioner board appointments were finally going to be addressed. These appointments had been in limbo for months on end.

    April 16, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll