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Americans for Prosperity: New Mental Health Task Force Highlights Need to Repeal ‘Certificate of Need’ Laws

Aug 2, 2022 by AFP

COLUMBIA, SC — Americans for Prosperity – South Carolina (AFP-SC) today renewed calls for the Legislature to repeal the state’s ‘certificate of need’ (CON) laws, after an announcement that the Legislature awarded $64 million for a state-wide mental health task force.

A December 2021 report on psychiatric services found that CON laws result in fewer psychiatric hospitals and inpatient options. Earlier this year, the House failed to repeal South Carolina’s CON laws.

AFP-SC State Director Candace Carroll released the following statement: 

“Amid devastating increases in mental illness and substance abuse, particularly following the pandemic, it is unacceptable that government red tape is delaying or denying additional treatment facilities from opening. While this working group is a necessary and good step, it’s ironic the Legislature agreed to provide $64 million of funding the same year the House blocked the easiest way to bring more treatment options. In fact, there’s good reason to believe the certificate of need process is so burdensome it scares away potential mental health providers from even applying to open a facility. We urge the mental health task force to take note of states, including Tennessee, Mississippi, and Florida, that recently repealed or exempted mental health and substance abuse treatment from CON laws.

“We also once again call on the Legislature, particularly House members who used procedural hijinks to halt a repeal of CON laws in May, to stop standing in the way of providing South Carolinians with much-needed health care options.”