In the seventh annual “Ready or Not” report out of Washington Tuesday, Texas ranked as one of the best-prepared states in the U.S. to respond to a public health emergency.
The report, sponsored by Trust for America's Health, a disease prevention advocacy group, rates each state in 10 criteria. The criteria include areas such as state public health funding and the ability to respond to an infectious disease outbreak.
While the report showed that the country as a whole is significantly unprepared, Texas and eight other states scored nine out of the 10 possible points. The only criteria Texas did not meet are for Medical Reserve Corps readiness. The report did not specify why Texas did not pass this specific area.
A big win for Texas is that in a time when more than half the country is slashing public health funding, Texas increased its funding by 3.1 percent in the fiscal year.
While Texas should feel confident in its ability to respond to a public health emergency, it still has work to do. According to Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the country.