NC stops telling hospitals they have to ask permission to add more beds, temporarily

I agree that this is good news, especially given the fact that we are facing a pandemic.

But seriously, the headline might as well be this:

North Carolina Agrees to Stop Doing a Foolish Thing

But only for a little while, officials say

Make no mistake: the state government has no business telling hospitals how many beds they think they need. Why do they do it? Because of Certificate of Need (CON) laws.

We’ve got one of the worst, most restrictive CON laws in the country. Fifteen states don’t have them at all. They got rid of them after the federal government got rid of the CON mandate (in 1987).

Why did the federal government get rid of the mandate? Because they could not longer escape the fact that CON laws, which were implemented on the daft notion that limiting supplies and cutting competition would lower prices, was causing higher health care prices.

All of this foolishness has brought us to this place. We have a health care regulation that needs to be set aside in the midst of a health crisis.

Jordan Roberts is right. Get rid of this restriction altogether.

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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