A national conservative group active in South Carolina politics and governance has launched a “six-figure campaign” aimed at eliminating unnecessary regulations which “limit access to quality care and drive up prices for individuals and families.”
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is pushing for the repeal of South Carolina’s so-called “Certificate of Need” (CON) program, which I have previously criticized as “injecting politically driven government bureaucracy into the health care marketplace.”
Administered by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), this restrictive “regulatory regime” forces hospitals to seek state approval if they wish to build new facilities, open new practices or purchase certain types of new equipment.
Last year, the S.C. Senate passed a bill doing away with CON during the first month of the legislative session – but the bill stalled in the S.C. House of Representatives when powerful “Republican” leaders refused to allow it to the floor for a vote.
A new bill abolishing CON – S. 164 – has already cleared the S.C. Senate medical affairs committee by an overwhelming margin. AFP is pushing hard to make sure this bill becomes law, and is running ads on television and digital through the legislative session in support of it.
You can watch the group’s television spot by clicking here …
“Certificate-of-need laws create limits on the number of healthcare facilities in the state, the number of beds in each facility, and the purchase of medical equipment,” the group noted. “Ultimately, they reduce the number of patients that can be treated. It is important South Carolina’s healthcare providers be able to expand capacity as much as is needed.”
As I noted in a recent article, there is ample evidence attesting to the inefficacy of certificate of need laws.
Two years ago, the Palmetto Promise think tank issued a report on South Carolina’s CON program, concluding the Palmetto State has “one of the most restrictive CON programs in the nation.”
“Rather than market demand determining the supply, under CON laws, clinicians and medical facilities must seek approval from the state before purchasing or expanding services they provide to patients,” the report found. “Competitors can then delay and even prevent new facilities from being built through the CON process.”
This news outlet will be interviewing AFP South Carolina director Candace Carroll on this issue ahead of our upcoming ‘Week in Review’ episode.
Stay tuned for that conversation …
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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This will allow the SC Medical complex to expand rapidly to other parts of the state, is this another government encroachment?