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Don't believe the moralistic posturing of the Republican Senators on the Senate Finance Committee. Red States are Deadbeats. They depend on Blue States support them, allowing them to live above their means. Only one of the states that voted against Obama in the last election gets less back from federal taxes than it pays in. That state is Texas. The rest are on the dole. And even gilded Texas contributes less per dollar than 15 other states that are all Democratic.

The real "income redistribution" issue in this country is not between rich and "poor" (aka :"minorities," "slackers," "aliens," "my ex-girlfriend," "pinko commies" etc) BUT between Democratic states and Republican states. It's not about the "irresponsible poor" or the feckless uninsured but about corruption, greed, quackery and deception so bold it does not shy from declaring the Bible to be Too Liberal.

What makes this situation utterly tragic is that there are states with large Democratic majorities (such as California and Illinois) that are suffering under the current arrangement. They contribute disproportionately to other states when their own populations could benefit from improved health access and quality.

When the Senators on the Finance Committee who represent Red States claim to be worried about going bankrupt, don’t believe then.  When they say their people's health care will be worse, don’t believe them. When they say reform will take away their freedoms of their people, don’t believe them. Instead, check out the facts.

The sort order for the table below is the one I find most helpful, Party designation first (by whether they voted for Obama in 2008) and then by RR or Redistribution Ratio -- based on how much of each State's federal dollars (collected as revenue) are returned to the State. This data is from The Tax Foundation and is from 2005, the last year available.

Key dependent variables are the measure of health quality from the Agency of Health Quality and Research and measures such as the percentage of people uninsured in the state. Other data is provided because it is mitigating or explanatory. Examples are cost-of-living adjustment and average Medicaid payment per enrollee. Check out Arizona and Texas' Medicaid payments -- and they complain that doctors don't want to see Medicaid patients!

Also, check out this EXCELLENT resource, published last week by the Commonwealth Fund, Aiming Higher:: Results from a State Scorecard on Health System Performance, 2009. Go to the fourth page of the Aiming Higher:Executive Summary and Ponder.

Although just the basic "facts" are presented here, I don't know of another source than this that has combined these three vectors on a State-to-State basis:

  1. Inter-State Redistribution of Federal Tax Collections
  1. Health Care Quality and
  1. Financial and Coverage Data.


STPRRRankHealth QualityCOLIncomeStTax%Unins%Pov%Mcare%Mcaid$Mcaid%Minor
NJD$0.61 50Hi Avg129.464,0705.5014.99.215117,86938.83
NVD$0.65 49Med Weak109.255,4404.2418.110.813114,49042.86
CTD$0.69 48Hi Avg127.865,6445.829.78.115157,59826.19
NHD$0.71 47Lo Strong118.268,1752.5110.47.015116,0476.87
MND$0.72 46Lo Strong104.357,6076.098.59.914157,12914.59
ILD$0.75 45Hi Weak96.753,8894.5913.212.314194,12935.29
DED$0.77 44Med Avg102.853,6956.2511.09.616225,15231.65
CAD$0.78 43Med Avg136.657,4455.5618.514.612292,74057.73
NYD$0.79 42Med Avg127.150,6436.6313.614.215277,92739.99
COD$0.81 41Hi Avg105.762,2173.1316.211.012124,75929.00
MAD$0.82 40Lo Strong120.560,5155.555.411.316196,96120.79
WID$0.86 39Med Strng95.852,2245.139.09.815184,44014.95
WAD$0.88 38Med Avg103.458,4724.6911.910.414194,38824.51
MID$0.92 37Lo Strong97.050,5284.9011.713.015184,19922.52
ORD$0.93 36Lo Avg114.351,9473.6816.610.615144,27219.97
FLD$0.97 34Hi Weak103.646,2064.2320.213.117174,20439.66
RID$1.00 33Lo Strong122.054,7674.8011.312.717198,08221.17
OHD$1.05 31Lo Avg93.448,9604.6911.613.716185,76817.51
IND$1.05 30Hi Weak92.847,8984.8811.914.315164,90716.80
PAD$1.07 28Med Avg102.050,8505.089.811.018174,83228.61
NCD$1.08 27Med Avg96.744,0585.6116.013.915194,94332.79
VTD$1.08 26Hi Avg117.949,9598.2010.39.017265,0964.85
IAD$1.10 24Hi Avg93.450,4654.559.49.517155,6009.72
MDD$1.30 18Lo Avg127.665,9324.4712.98.713146,60042.28
MED$1.41 13Hi Avg112.748,4815.779.612.019237,7754.75
HID$1.44 12Med Avg162.864,0026.247.99.915174,48475.11
VAD$1.51 10Med Avg100.661,7103.8413.810.314114,84033.08
NMD$2.03 1Hi Weak101.444,0816.4923.219.315264,52158.26
TXR$0.94 35Hi Weak90.547,1573.8925.215.911173,36752.62
GAR$1.01 32Hi Weak91.448,3693.8817.815.512193,29641.89
UTR$1.07 29Med Avg95.059,0623.6813.07.610125,00518.29
NER$1.10 25Lo Strong89.850,8964.6012.610.615145,91515.88
WYR$1.11 23Lo Avg102.451,9777.8313.710.114165,05613.17
KSR$1.12 22Lo Avg91.449,1195.2012.512.715135,57819.71
AZR$1.19 21Lo Avg106.347,9724.4018.918.013232,20641.61
IDR$1.21 20Med Avg93.149,2474.8714.812.214154,79914.88
TNR$1.27 19Hi Weak88.341,2404.5014.815.016253,97522.92
MOR$1.32 17Med Avg90.346,9063.9512.613.316184,38717.86
SCR$1.35 16Med Avg95.544,0344.2916.114.016224,16534.80
OKR$1.36 15Hi Weak88.445,4945.1216.013.616204,06328.61
ARR$1.41 14Hi Weak90.440,9746.4417.015.318273,67624.35
MTR$1.47 11Hi Avg105.044,1165.7615.912.916125,61712.08
KYR$1.51 9Hi Weak92.241,0585.7414.817.117204,87012.22
SDR$1.53 8Lo Strong90.549,9013.2911.413.116155,07213.94
ALR$1.66 7Lo Avg92.044,1554.4112.014.317214,01531.55
NDR$1.68 6Lo Strong95.149,3257.3111.011.816116,92510.39
WVR$1.76 5Lo Avg94.640,8516.5814.614.520225,6826.51
LAR$1.78 4Lo Weak94.441,2326.0519.318.215253,56338.08
AKR$1.84 3Med Avg128.964,70118.9719.48.28187,64434.26
MSR$2.02 2Med Weak97.037,5795.9918.418.116274,14441.33
USAD$1.00 25Med Avg10051,2335.4015.413.2015.020.04,575n/a
Src:MapTaxFndRankAHRQ Top 50Kaiser[calc]KaiserKaiserKaiserKaiserKaiserCNN

P = (2008) Democrat vs Republican, based on 2008 Presidential vote.
RR = (2005) Redistribution Ratio. The amount of federal tax dollars received per dollar contributed.
Rank = (2005) From lowest to highest Redistribution Ratio.
Quality = (2005) Of health services provided to citizens, derived from data available from HHS' Agency for Health Care Quality and Research. [see AHRQ's disclaimer at end of this post.*]
COL = (2008) Cost of Living adjustment.
State Tax = (2008) Average state tax for $60K.
Uninsured = (2008) Percent uninsured.
Medicaid = (2006) Percent on Medicaid.
Mcaid Pymt = (2006) Average Medicaid cost per year per enrollee.

*AHRQ Disclaimer: "Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the electronic documents and resources provided on this Web site. However, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) makes no warranties, expressed or implied, regarding errors or omissions and assumes no legal liability or responsibility for loss or damage resulting from the use of information contained within.

"AHRQ and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) cannot endorse, or appear to endorse, derivative or excerpted materials, and it cannot be held liable for the content or use of adapted products that are incorporated on other Web sites. Any adaptations of these electronic documents and resources must include a disclaimer to this effect."

Kaiser: is a project of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and is designed to provide free, up-to-date, and easy-to-use health data on all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States. provides the latest data on more than 500 health, health care, and health policy topics, comparable across all states.

Additional data at Auriandra's blog at hy61blues.

Aiming Higher:Executive Summary

Originally posted to Auriandra on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 09:06 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Is... (0+ / 0-)

    It bad to be a 'welfare queen'?

    I mean, you do realize that the argument you're making is basically the Republican's race baiting/southern strategy, right?  

    You're essentially arguing that the poor, minority (in a sense) states are sucking the wealth from the rich states through the 'evil' of redistribution, right?  No different from the attacks the Republicans have been making against Blacks (and now Hispanics) for decades.  

    •  I am trying to show their hippocrisy - they don't (7+ / 0-)

      take care of their own populations, but they won't let us pass legislation that would help them. If they won't let us help their poor, let them opt out and let us at least take care of our poor -- who are many.  Maybe then we can even include pregnant girls and aliens, like real humanitarians!

      I believe that if they opt out they will become more and more $$ fewer people will be covered, and with data like the Commonwealth data available to all, their people will rise up and demand the be part of national health care.  

      Auriandra Wabasha MN

      by Auriandra on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 09:21:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Statistics Bear This Out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      At some point hard facts have to enter an argument and these stats seem to form a solid basis for this argument.

      You seem to be making this into a racial issue by using the term minority into it.

      We have higher tax rates in the Northeast than all southern states and hence lose business to them. They charge lower local taxes and make up for it on our backs by taking our federal tax money.

      Is it racist to spell it out?

      Healthcare for everyone

      by offthegrid on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 09:22:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eXtina, HylasBrook, Auriandra

        The only geography-based demographic that truly has any right to complaints about taxes and revenues are America's urban centers...

        We get triply screwed... We subsidize our entire states, we subsidize at the federal level, then we get hit with higher local taxes because we sure as hell aren't going to roads with much heavier usage repaved or transit systems built or schools maintained from the state or federal coffers.

        I accept the disparity - and deal with the higher tax rates - because I love my home and the trade-off is worth it.

        But what I cannot stand is that rather than the appropriate "thank you" -- we have our homes turned into slurs and communities dragged through the mud as if we're a blight on the nation, rather than the sugar daddy most of America turns to in order to fund their own infrastructure.

        I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

        by zonk on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 09:58:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I might agree (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skrymir, jedennis, HylasBrook, Auriandra

      with not using conservative frames (remember your Lakoff, people!) --

      But I can tell you that I take a lot of common cause in the sentiment... primarily because I am in a blue state (Illinois) in a blue city (Chicago) -- and I get no end of ranting from conservative family from rural areas in red states complaining about how "I" steal their money (via taxes) for "my" way of life... when the truth is completely the opposite.

      Chicago's tax base subsidizes the rural portion of Illinois - not the other way around.  Taxes from Chicago make up the overwhelming majority of Illinois state revenue -- yet not even half of state revenue gets spent in Chicago.

      The same is true at the state level -- Illinois, New York, New Jersey, California, etc -- pay more into the federal till than they get back in revenue for infrastructure and other projects.

      I'm not expecting a thoughtful thank you card -- though a bit of appreciation would be nice -- but I certainly am well done with having my home used a slur ('Chicago' politics), just as I'm sure others ('San Francisco' values... 'New York' whatever) are.

      We pay higher fees and taxes in metro areas - and in more urbanized states - because we are in effect subsidizing our rural neighbors.

      That's fine.  

      But we cannot get our own transit systems and infrastructure properly maintained because the in/out tax/revenue flow is far, far from even...

      I'm not arguing for ancient Greek style city states -- I'm simply saying it's time some appreciation was shown.

      ...and less anyone think I'm a lecturing urban elite -- I grew up in small town Indiana.  Most of my family still lives in rural areas.  

      There's simply no comparison between the abuse red state rural America heaps on blue state urban areas and what goes in the other direction.

      I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

      by zonk on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 09:53:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Same thing here in Madison, WI (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HylasBrook, Auriandra

        We send our tax money to the northern part of the state only to have them gripe about "liberal Madison".  If our state tax money weren't sent to their schools they would have to shut half of them down.

        OTOH, Maybe that is what they want.

        An honest man in the White House is a threat to crooks and liars

        by AppleP on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 10:33:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How can anyone be that clueless? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ranting from conservative family from rural areas in red states complaining about how "I" steal their money (via taxes) for "my" way of life... when the truth is completely the opposite.

        Seriously, isn't it plainly obvious that you need higher incomes to support lower ones and greater density of population to support dispersed ones? Do they honestly think their incomes are high enough to support urban centers?

        I mean seriously how can anyone be so clueless?

    •  This is not race baiting, this is yet (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      another indication of how the south is pretty much a third world country in the US - they pull every positive rating down in the US and every negative rating up.

      Highest rate of teen pregnancy? the south.
      Lowest per pupil spending on education? the south.
      Yells the loudest about too much intervention but gets more federal dollars than wealthy states? the south.
      Lowest per capita high school graduates? - the south.
      Lowest # of college & post college graduates per capita?  the south.
      states that have the highest percentage of executions? The south.
      Most offensive anti-Obama material? - the south.

      All those southerners that complain about 'pointy headed individuals', loose sexual mores outside the south, and welfare queens are pots calling the kettle black.  

      I don't think I'd get much of an objection, given the nasty things the south has said about Obama, that blacks tend to be poor in the south because they are still discriminated against.  (Not to mention that many whites in the south are kept down because the states' elite all know each other and are related to each other, and keep all the economic opportunities to themselves.)

      So, no, saying that the south talks about 'welfare queens' is not race-baiting, it's simply the way things are.

      The south can talk about welfare queens, but from where I sit, southern states are welfare royalty.

      The land was ours before we were the land's...Robert Frost, The Gift Outright

      by HylasBrook on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 10:49:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You'll notice, with the exception of Alaska... (3+ / 0-)

    ...that sorts pretty much by income.

  •  Cali should succeed from the Union (4+ / 0-)

    I'm in Oklahoma and we are insane.  My idiot fellow state citizens endlessly complain about the federal government while benefiting from this unfair tax distribution.

    a good and decent man who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. 80% of success is just showing up!

    by Churchill on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 09:58:51 AM PDT

    •  LOL! Yes, you are! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Churchill, luckylizard, eXtina, Auriandra

      I've been a Californian for 25 years. Last week I got a big crazy-ass Glenn Beck adoration rant from a woman I knew back in high school, in Blackwell, Oklahoma. ALL about Socialism and Communism and re-distributing the wealth! 100 new kids in the Blackwell schools this year, and every damn one of them on free lunch!

      I told her if it makes her feel any better, she's not paying for those kids' lunches -- I am... and I have no qualms at all about doing so.

      "I still believe in liberalism today as much as I ever did, but, oh, there was a happy time when I believed in liberals..." -- G. K. Chesterton

      by teachme2night on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 11:13:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We Need a Redistribution of Redistribution (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, HylasBrook, Auriandra

    There is no reason we should subsidize these states.

    This is why they can offer lower taxes and steal jobs from us.

    We are helping to take jobs from ourselves.

    While we argue over pennies spilled on the floor the banks have looted the gold from the vault and are laughing at us - Let Them Eat Cake

    by offthegrid on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 10:16:58 AM PDT

  •  If you think it is bad now (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, HylasBrook

    wait until after the health care bill passes.  That 25% uninsured in Texas is going to cost us blue-staters big time.

    An honest man in the White House is a threat to crooks and liars

    by AppleP on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 10:30:03 AM PDT

  •  Wait until the Bush tax cuts expire (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Then the Blue states will be getting shafted even worse.

    Sanctimony thy name is Joe Lieberman.

    by roguetrader2000 on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 10:31:24 AM PDT

    •  Lots of poor in the red states (0+ / 0-)

      but lots of VERY wealthy too.  I am not sure it will affect these numbers much.

      An honest man in the White House is a threat to crooks and liars

      by AppleP on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 10:53:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What shows up when you look closely at the... (0+ / 0-)

        comparative cost and quality data is exactly that - incredible juxtaposition of poor and rich waste and poverty. It occurred to me TX is right next the NM so the "poorest" is next to the "richest" (for the south) and they must get this sense that it's like that everywhere.

        It's not in MN where I live. I was also surprised that MN has like 15% minorities which is more than some plains states, but we reach out to people.  I remember it was so cool a few years ago a Somali immigrant girl was chosen Homecoming Queen of my son's hs. In the elementary schools they have all the flags of all the countries people are from. It's how it is here; it seems to work.

        Auriandra Wabasha MN

        by Auriandra on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 11:08:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The most interesting thing this points to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard, Auriandra

    is the bankruptcy of conservative policies and values.

    In the red states, where these policies are implemented, all outcomes and indicators show much lower rates for basic quality of life and happiness.

    In the blue states, where liberal policies are implemented, all indicators are higher in terms of quality of life and happiness.  Higher life expectancy, higher literacy, lower teen pregnancy, lower stds, higher numbers of insured people, etc.

    So, not only are the red states sucking the blood of the blue states through federal redistribution of income, but they allow us to see the real effects of conservative policies in action.  The social experiments of conservatism v. liberalism are there for everyone to see in cold, clear statistical evidence.  

    Not to mention that the more elusive concept of "freedom" that these bozos keep bloviating about is also in much shorter supply in these states, with Christian fundamentalists always on the move to curtail privacy rights, religious rights, and freedom of speech rights.

    •  I heard some commentator say Obama needs (0+ / 0-)

      to make the case that "government is the solution." We're all afraid of that; it's not pc, but how can the environment, the economy, health care, education be based solely on this bizarre worship of "free markets." It's a basic American dilemma - as old as the country, older. Are we a "City on a Hill"- a Commonwealth, a community, per the puritans etc, or The Wild West without laws, just the individual for him(always a him) self...  Puritans have their problems too, but I'll go with civilization.

      But these jokers will not learn without a major "demmo" they will just try to drag the whole country into their nightmare. Is there a way to have both opt out but to set requirements for the opt-out states that they actually improve the situation for their citizens? Why not -- we're paying for it...!

      Auriandra Wabasha MN

      by Auriandra on Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 11:03:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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