A big part of the dialogue driving the debate on health care reform is the premise that the uninsured are the main cause of higher health insurance costs for all Americans. While this undoubtedly plays a factor, it’s not the main reason for higher insurance premiums. Other factors are clearly at play and have more direct correlations, as this data indicates.
STATES WITH HIGHEST NUMBER OF UNINSURED
2. New Mexico
STATES WITH HIGHEST AVG. PREMIUMS PER FAMILY POLICY
2. New York
3. New Jersey
4. Rhode Island
7. North Carolina
8. New Hampshire
10. South Dakota
If the correlation between the number of uninsured and high premiums was a strong one, both lists should consist mostly of the same states. But as you can see, only Louisiana showed up on both lists. So what’s driving up health care costs in all these other states? Most likely, it’s lack of competition and government overregulation.
The more state regulators dictate what the health insurance companies can or can’t offer, the less choice that is available to the consumer and the more risk the insurance companies have to assume. Greater risk, of course, does have a direct correlation to higher health insurance premiums, as anyone in the insurance industry can tell you. If this is any indication, ObamaCare will raise premiums, not lower them, by eliminating consumer choice and forcing insurance companies to add riskier patients to their pool.
But just for kicks, let’s look at the data in reverse.
STATES WITH FEWEST UNINSURED
8. New Jersey
9. New York
10. Rhode Island
Oddly enough, five of these states also show up in the top ten of highest premiums. And Pennsylvania almost makes it six (Pennsylvania has the eleventh most expensive insurance policies, just missing the top ten). Meanwhile, Massachusetts and Maine both passed health care reforms with public options similar to ObamaCare, but that hasn’t helped their residents save a dime.
Maybe it’s a regional thing or maybe it’s the propensity of these states to have highly regulated insurance markets, but it appears there’s a greater chance that states with low populations of uninsured will have higher premiums than those with large uninsured populations. This debunks Obama’s number one claim for why we must pass his radical health care reforms.
It seems we’d be better off saving one trillion dollars and letting 30 million people go uninsured rather than insuring them at our added expense – that includes higher premiums and higher taxes. And we haven’t even examined the strain on state budgets yet, in which case you’ll find Massachusetts completely overburdened by expenses as a result of their health care entitlement program.
By the way, the national average for annual premiums purchased is $5799 for family policies. Nine of the ten states on the most uninsured list were well below the national average. This seems to prove that the debate isn’t about making health care affordable. It’s about expanding government and intruding into the lives of private citizens, a power grab to control one-sixth of the American economy.