Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Where Does Your State Rank?

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council has come up with a handy guide to rank the 50 US states (plus the District of Columbia) based on how badly their regulation raise the cost of health insurance. Some of the measures include the number of mandates, whether the state requires "guaranteed issue", community rating, and employer mandates, whether it allows tax-free use of Health Savings Accounts.

Here's their guide:

"Health Care Policy Cost Index: Ranking the States According to Policies Affecting the Cost of Health Care"

And their conclusions:
Among the 50 states and District of Columbia, the best 15 states in terms of state health care policies are: 1) Idaho, 2) Utah, 3) Iowa, 4t) Michigan, 4t) Ohio, 6) Alaska, 7) South Carolina, 8) South Dakota, 9) Pennsylvania, 10t) Nebraska, 10t) Wyoming, 12) District of Columbia, 13) Kentucky, 14) North Dakota, and 15) Oklahoma.

Meanwhile, the worst states are: 37) Minnesota, 38) New Hampshire, 39t) North Carolina, 39t) Rhode Island, 41) Florida, 42) New York, 43) New Jersey, 44) Colorado, 45) Maryland, 46) California, 47) Vermont, 48) Connecticut, 49t) Maine, 49t) Washington, and 51) Massachusetts.

Our elected officials talk a great deal about "solving the health care crisis." Unfortunately, the origins of the crises can largely be traced back to governmental policies that raise the costs of health care, and thereby limit the availability of health care coverage. If policymakers are serious about having a positive impact on health care, then significantly limiting the number of mandates and regulations makes sense at the federal and state levels.
Obviously, I wish Colorado ranked higher than 44th. But at least we have the examples of lots of other higher-ranked states to point to in the public policy debate!

(Via State House Call.)