OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the potential cost-effectiveness of and stakeholder perspectives on a sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) excise tax and a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) policy that would not allow SSB purchases in Maine, US.
DESIGN: A cost-effectiveness simulation model combined with stakeholder interviews.
SETTING: Maine, US.
PARTICIPANTS: Microsimulation of the Maine population in 2015 and interviews with stakeholders (n = 14). Study conducted from 2013 to 2017.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Health care cost savings, net costs, and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) from 2017 to 2027. Stakeholder positions on policies. Retail SSB cost and implementation cost data were collected.
ANALYSIS: Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study project microsimulation model with uncertainty analysis to estimate cost-effectiveness. Thematic stakeholder interview coding.
RESULTS: Over 10 years, the SSB and SNAP policies were projected to reduce health care costs by $78.3 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI], $31.7 million-$185 million) and $15.3 million (95% UI, $8.32 million-$23.9 million), respectively. The SSB and SNAP policies were projected to save 3,560 QALYs (95% UI, 1,447-8,361) and 749 QALYs (95% UI, 415-1,168), respectively. Stakeholders were more supportive of SSB taxes than the SNAP policy because of equity concerns associated with the SNAP policy.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Cost-effectiveness analysis provided evidence of potential health improvement and cost savings to state-level stakeholders weighing broader implementation considerations.