Written by Reaghan Waites, intern at Civitas Institute
CON laws require medical care providers to obtain permission from the state before expanding or opening facilities, as well as purchasing equipment.
These laws are outdated and anti-free-market, and work to give existing providers a monopoly on certain healthcare services by stifling new competition. In addition, the process of applying for and defending a CON against competitors could cost healthcare providers seeking to provide essential services hundreds of thousands of dollars, costs which are ultimately passed along to the consumer.
By restricting the supply of certain services, CON laws drive up healthcare costs. Rolling back, and ultimately repealing these laws are one of several solutions to reduce healthcare costs.
Legislators are taking an incremental approach to peeling back CON restrictions in this years’ budget. The language provides exemptions for operating rooms, mental health facilities, ambulatory surgery facilities, and dialysis stations.
This provision eliminates the current requirement for approval to open or expand these facilities, thus reducing government involvement in the process of creating new centers.
Repealing CON laws will eliminate unnecessary restrictions on medical care providers while simultaneously helping to reduce healthcare costs. While a full CON repeal is ideal, this partial repeal is a step in the right direction.