Columnist George Will highlights a North Carolina doctor’s fight against its absurd certificate of need (CON) laws in his latest column:
Born in India, Gajendra Singh is an American citizen and a surgeon in Winston-Salem who wants to supply something useful for which there is a strong demand. North Carolina’s government is, however, an almost insuperable impediment to his doing so.
Singh runs a medical diagnostic imaging center where patients can get X-rays, echocardiograms, ultrasounds and CT (computed tomography) scans. It cannot, however, be a full-service center without an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine, and local hospitals offering MRIs are averse to competition….
The average MRI at a North Carolina hospital costs $2,000. Singh charges $500 to $700 for the MRIs he does using rental machines that the state’s harassing law requires to be moved once a week. Singh wants to buy an MRI machine. North Carolina, however, has a “certificate of need” (CON) law, requiring Singh to prove to the Soviet-style central planners in the state government that Singh’s area needs another machine.
The bottom line, Will concludes, is that the buruearatic state inevitably will harm consumers and the little guy while benefiting big, incumbent firms:
the sprawling, intrusive, interventionist administrative state — a.k.a. modern government — that recognizes no limits to its competence or jurisdiction is inevitably a defender of the entrenched and hence a mechanism for transferring wealth upward.