SBE Council's "Health Care Policy Cost Index 2012" Ranks the States

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) today released its "Health Care Policy Cost Index 2012." The index ranks the 50 states and District of Columbia according to public policy measures that impact the costs of health care and health insurance coverage.

SBE Council chief economist Raymond J. Keating, author of the report, said: "The employer costs of providing health care coverage and the overall cost of health care just keep rising. A big part of these rising costs have to do with unwise and unwarranted government intervention in the health care marketplace. These government-driven costs don't just come from misguided federal policies, but policies in the states as well."

The "Health Care Policy Cost Index 2012" ties together eight measures, including tax treatment of health savings accounts, various forms of guaranteed issue and community rating regulations, the number of insurance coverage mandates, whether or not states have high-risk pools, and spending on government health programs.

Among the 50 states and District of Columbia, the best 10 states in terms of state health care policies are: 1) South Carolina, 2) Iowa, 3t) Indiana, 3t) South Dakota, 5) Nebraska, 6) Utah, 7) Wyoming, 8) Montana, 9) Alabama, and 10) Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, the 10 worst states are: 42) Oregon, 43) District of Columbia, 44) Connecticut, 45) Washington, 46) New Jersey, 47) Vermont, 48) Rhode Island, 49) Massachusetts, 50) Maine, and 51) New York.

Keating added: "More government programs and spending mean fewer incentives to be concerned about prices and utilization of services. More mandates on insurers inevitably translate into higher insurance costs. And while increased regulation might sound good to many, costs rise as government overrules decisions made in the private, competitive, consumer-centered marketplace. Unfortunately innovation, competition and affordability are all hurt when government overly intrudes."

Keating concluded: "Elected official at the federal and state levels need to move away from more government controls and spending, and towards reforms that expand competition and choice in the private health care marketplace. Of course, this process needs to start with the outright repeal of ObamaCare at the federal level. But there's much that can be done to rein in government-related costs in the states as well."

To see the full rankings and to get a copy of the "Health Care Policy Cost Index 2012," please click here.