[September 5, 2008 @ 10:28 am] David Catron

Last week I did a brief post on Governor Palin’s effort to repeal Alaska’s burdensome and counterproductive Certificate of Need statute.  I’ve done a more detailed piece on that initiative and the CON issue for the American Spectator. Here’s an excerpt:

State CON laws originated, like so many bad health care ideas, with a mandate from the federal government. In 1974, states were effectively told by Washington that no new medical facilities could be built unless a “public need” had been demonstrated. The idea was to reduce costs, but the only measurable effect of this federal decree was a morass of bureaucratic red tape that stifled competition in the health care market.

And, like so many bad government ideas, the CON monster has been difficult to kill even after Washington tried to drive a stake through its heart:

In 1987, the federal statute was finally repealed, but many states inexplicably kept their CON processes in place. Alaska was one of them and, as Governor Palin put it in an editorial for the Anchorage Daily News, “Under our present Certificate of Need process, costs and needs don’t drive health-care choices — bureaucracy does. Our system is broken and expensive.”

The rest of the article can be read here.

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