Conservatives may try to paint Canada's state-run health care system as a horror we wouldn't want to subject our children to, but the reality, as the Economic Policy Institute emphasized in a brief  this week, even as US health costs per person rose 90% between 1993 and 2005, Canada's costs rose only 65%. And despite spending only half as much per person on health care costs as the US, infant mortality rates are lower and life expectancy is higher in Canada.
In State Rankings on the Well-Being of Children in Low-Income Families: Some Preliminary Findings , the Casey Foundation's Kids Count project ranks all 50 states in terms of the condition of children living in low-income families. There were wide disparities in the conditions of children, both between states and within them, with the best conditions for low-income children clustered in the upper Great Plains and the worst clustered in the mid-Atlantic region.
An early leader in health care reform, Maine's Dirigo Health initiative has succeeded in expanding coverage to over 16,000 low and middle income workers, parents, sole proprietors and small businesses. A new report on Maine's initiative, funded by The Commonwealth Fund and Robert Wood Johnson, Leading the way? Maine's Initial Experience in Expanding Coverage Through Dirigo Health Reforms , details the successes and challenges in expanding coverage and financing health care by capturing savings in the health care system achieved by reducing uncompensated care and controlling costs.