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AFP-SC Announces Major Campaign to Repeal Certificate of Need Laws

May 4, 2021 by AFP

Trusted reform should be made permanent grassroots group says

COLUMBIA, SC – Americans for Prosperity-South Carolina (AFP-SC) today announced the launch of a robust, statewide six-figure mail and digital campaign focused on helping reform South Carolina’s health care system. The group is targeting a temporary reform that was enacted last year by Governor McMaster during the height of COVID-19, repealing the state’s burdensome certificate-of-need-laws, and urging lawmakers to make the reform permanent.

AFP-SC’s ad campaign will focus on expanding access to health care services by empowering South Carolinians to contact their lawmakers in support of S. 290, a bill that would eliminate the state’s certificate-of-need-laws, which requires health facilities to get government approval before expanding services. The campaign will also feature extensive grassroots engagement, including door knocking and phone banking.

View an example mailer here.

View an example digital ad here.

AFP-SC Interim State Director Candace Carroll issued the following statement:

“Last year, we saw how Governor McMaster’s temporary suspension of our state’s burdensome certificate-of-need-laws saved South Carolinians’ lives during this public health crisis. When we remove unnecessary red tape, our health care system can better help patients get the care they need and deserve.

“It’s time to stop the practice of forcing health professionals and facilities to get a permission slip from the government and other health facilities to deliver more care. We are urging South Carolinians to contact their lawmakers and tell them they should not miss this opportunity to end this overregulation that has put access to quality, affordable care out of reach for too many.”

Background:

In 1971, lawmakers established the CON program to evaluate building plans and medical equipment purchases to determine which services are needed to address community medical needs and which services are unnecessary. However, the agency overseeing the program, the Department of Health and Environmental Control, routinely blocks new health care providers from offering essential health services across the state, especially in rural and underserved communities.

A Mercatus Center study found that, without a CON law, Palmetto State residents would have access to 34 additional hospitals — including nine rural installations — 12 additional ambulatory surgery centers, over 300 more PET scanners, and over 20,000 more MRI machines.

The CON law also means 6,331 fewer hospital beds.

In some cases, CON law restrictions are a matter of life and death. Mercatus also estimated that, without CON, South Carolina would suffer 5.1 percent fewer deaths as a result of post-surgery complications.