ANALYSIS: N.J. ranked worst U.S. state for healthcare access even as it becomes a COVID-19 hot spot

TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey’s over-regulated health care system provides worst-in-America health care access according to the results of a new study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. 

The study’s pre-release – designed to inform state policymakers at a time when COVID-19 is sweeping the nation – suggests New Jersey is in an inferior position to weather its new dubious distinction as the country’s 2nd worst Wuhan-China Virus hotspot

Mercatus’s Healthcare Openness and Access Project 2020 (HOAP) examined 41 individual variables in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.

“The HOAP index ranks New Jersey near the bottom of the 51 jurisdictions analyzed,” the HOAP team explained. “Some of the state’s highest scores are in the Patient Regulation category and the Institutional Regulation category, and some of its lowest are in the Delivery Regulation category and the Payment Regulation category.”

The Garden State’s rank in each category can be viewed here.

The Murphy Administration has taken action in recent days to loosen regulations – e.g. waiving certain hurdles for out-of-state medical professionals to practice in New Jersey – but these 11th hour efforts are mostly temporary.

New Jersey had 3,675 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 44 COVID-19 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon. Regional hospitals – notably those in New York City – are already reportedly strained to capacity