Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Alabama’s Certificate Of Need Law Harms Patients & Increases Healthcare Costs

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 22, 2013

Ever wonder why healthcare costs are sky high?

Part of the reason is that in Alabama – as in other states – healthcare providers cannot independently decide to open up a hospital without government approval.

And no… it’s NOT “ObamaCare.”

“It’s expensive to navigate the

Alabama Certificate Of Need process,

but both sides said

it is best for their patients that

they continue this fight.”


Yes, it’s EXPENSIVE, but REALLY?
It’s better to FIGHT than HEAL?
You’re scheduled for surgery, and you want your surgical team to “continue this fight” instead of attending to your healthcare needs?

Such a remark… is not worthy of further comment.
However, I will address the matter of Alabama’s Certificate Of Need Law.

Most folks are not aware of the complexities of this matter, much less the hows & whys of managing their own health. The only thing they can even vaguely remember is Richard Scrushy & Don Siegelman.

Alabama’s Certificate of Need law is a TOTAL WASTE OF RESOURCES and FORCES healers to WASTE precious resources, time & money on legally MANDATED Court fights, rather than spending money on healing & healthcare.

Frankly, Alabama’s CON law is STOOPID!

Because of Alabama’s Certificate Of Need law, Bill Gates & Warren Buffet would be PREVENTED from building a free-of-cost hospital in Alabama.

They could not do that out of the goodness of their own hearts.
It does.

Because they’d FIRST have to go to court and fight with…

Yeah… you guessed it…
Other hospitals, which would oppose them.

Because Alabama‘s Certificate Of Need Law forbids anyone from making independent decisions about building hospitals or healthcare facilities.

Let’s analogize this.

It’s kinda’ like YOUR Alabama Legislators telling you that NO, you CANNOT build a grocery store to feed hungry people, unless you FIRST enter into a COURT FIGHT with other grocery stores, who would oppose you operating a business for the betterment of the community.

Oh yeah… did you know that the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission co-wrote a report in 2004 and found that Certificate of Need laws are inherently Anti-Competitive?

Their 2004 joint report entitled “Improving Healthcare: A Dose of Competition” is available
here: http://www.ftc.gov/reports/healthcare/040723healthcarerpt.pdf

One other thing.
This AIN’T “ObamaCare.”

This happened LONG before.
Try 1974.

New York state‘s legislature was the first to pass a law that required a governmental determination of need before any hospital or nursing home was constructed. Then, it was promoted the American Hospital Association. Next, the federal government passed similar legislation – the National Health Planning and Resources Development Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-641) – which had a noble three-pronged goal, to
1.) restrain skyrocketing health care costs;
2.) prevent the unnecessary duplication of health resources, and;
3.) achieve equal access to quality health care at a reasonable cost.

Congress did what congress does, and that was to hold out the “carrot on a stick” (translate: federal money), to all states that passed CON laws. By 1978, all but one state – Louisiana – had passed some type of CON law.

Congressional analysis demonstrated that the law did not have the intended effect, and Congress repealed the law in 1979, and allowed the law to expire completely in 1986. However, only 11 states have since repealed their CON laws: AZ, CA, CO, ID, IN, KS, MN, NM, TX, UT & WY.

Alabama, quite obviously, has not.

Isn’t it time you demanded better from YOUR Alabama Legislator?

(Now, to be TOTALLY honest, this IS a VERY complex issue, with a VERY lengthy & detailed history. Yet this is the MOST SUCCINCT and FORTHRIGHT way I can put it.)

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