U.S. Index of Health Ownership 2nd Edition Is Here

Alabama up, Utah down, New York still in the basement: Where’s your state?

Pacific Research Instite has published the 2nd edition of the U.S. Index of Health Ownership, the only ranking of health care in the states that uses criteria of individual choice.

Americans lack the basic freedom to make their own health care decisions. The Index measures the degree to which individuals, be they patients, health professionals, entrepreneurs, or taxpayers, “own” the health care in their states.

The lack of health ownership is a real problem. Almost half of the country’s health care spending is in the hands of the government, instead of patients themselves. The other half is governed by regulations inflicted upon doctors, health plans and patients.

The Index uses 24 variables to quantify how state laws and regulations affect the liberty of citizens involved in state government health plans (primarily Medicaid), the private health-insurance market, and the provision of medical services. It also assesses the effect of medical tort on people’s freedom to engage health services.

Alabama, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and New Hampshire finished in the top five, as the states that allow their citizens the highest degree of health ownership. Alabama leads the pack primarily because of a lightly regulated private insurance market, and good control of state government programs. Also, the state performs well on medical tort indicators. Alabama’s regulatory environment for providers favors competition, and government health programs run more effectively than in most states.

New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and North Carolina rounded out the bottom five, as the states in which the government has taken the most undue control of health care from its citizens. This is the second year that New York was in last place. The state suffers from government health-care programs that are out of control, a grossly overregulated private-insurance market, and almost completely uncompetitive provider markets.

A full listing of all 50 states and their rankings is contained in the Index.

The Index will give concerned citizens a good basis to demand reforms from their state politicians that will put American families in charge of American health care, instead of government and special interests.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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