I was pleased to see some legislators looking at serious reform of the COPN (Certificate of Public Need) system. It needs (pun intended) serious reform – The COPN cartelizes the health care industry by requiring hospitals and other health care providers to go to government (The department of health) for permission to expand services and then their competitors have a serious say in whether that entity should get the expansion. It ought to be abolished and if there are concerns about oversaturation of health care services, perhaps reverse the process to require the competition to object and reverse the procedure to require clear and convincing evidence of oversaturation for the competition to prevail.
I was even more pleased to see my own delegate, Christopher K. Peace, on the right side of this question and I cite this Bearing Drift post on the question by D. J. McGuire in December. (I got to fuss with McGuire just a bit on the idea that BD first discussed this issue at this post by Norman Leahy in November 2014. Here’s some of my posts, the first one was in 2012!)
Here’s the pertinent paragraph about what the Byron/O’Bannon/Peace proposals (with the critical support of the Virginia House Republican Campaign Committee:
All three Republican Delegates [Kathy Byron/John O’Bannon/Chris Peace] have sponsored bills to scale back COPN’s anti-competitive reach. O’Bannon (the physician) would phase out much of COPN law over three years (nursing homes, open-heart surgery facilities, and tissue transplant services would be unaffected). Delegate Peace’s set of bills would do the same, but adds “strong charity care requirements to ensure the most vulnerable have access to vital healthcare services.” Delegate Byron’s efforts would also end COPN for all except rural hospitals and nursing homes.
So all my readers – get behind this effort – let your delegate and senator know about these bills if you can and let’s see at least a substantial reform of COPN. Glad I don’t have to contact MY delegate on this issue!
A hat tip to BD and D. J. McGuire for this blow for liberty!
Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders