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ICYMI: South Carolina Opens its Doors to New Hospital Investment

May 18, 2023 by AFP

In new op-ed, AFP-SC State Director Candace Carroll and Speaker Murell Smith praise repeal of certificate-of-need laws

COLUMBIA, SC — Americans for Prosperity – South Carolina (AFP-SC) State Director Candace Carroll and South Carolina House Speaker Murell Smith have a new op-ed in Becker’s Hosptial Review praising the repeal of the state’s certificate-of-need laws.

Becker’s Hospital Review: South Carolina opens its doors to new hospital investment 
An excerpt of the op-ed is below.

“At a time when ‘bipartisan’ might seem vanishingly rare, the word ‘unanimous’ has become nearly unthinkable.

“But on May 2nd the South Carolina House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation that will increase the number of hospital beds and services available to our residents. The bill, which sailed through the state Senate earlier this year, repeals Certificate of Need (CON) laws that require government approval to expand medical facilities and give competitors veto power over rival health care investments.

“On its face this may look like a legislative layup: who could possibly object to fostering a surplus of available health care accommodations? But for decades this was the approach taken in dozens of states where existing health care entities and regulators could block or delay other health systems from investing in expansion or innovation. The coronavirus pandemic exposed this failed cost-cutting measure as a disaster for both patients and providers. We faced a dangerous shortage of ICU beds during COVID-19 surges. These crises made an already stressful job even more taxing on health care workers—the shortage of beds helped beget a shortage of nurses, doctors, and hospital staff…

“Thanks to the leadership in the South Carolina House, led by state Representatives Sylleste Davis and Mark Smith, as well as Senators Wes Climer and Tom Davis and Governor Henry McMaster, lawmakers on both sides recognized that now is the time to unleash medical investment, rather than to continue tying the hands of those seeking to improve care. The State Health Facility Licensure Act immediately repeals most statewide CON mandates…

“This bill will ensure that our residents have access to critical health care facilities and services. Gone are the days when doctors and administrators would have to pay thousands of dollars to add beds or install or upgrade medical imaging equipment such as mammogram machines in their offices. We have also made sure to safeguard the process over these next three years by instituting penalties for frivolous challenges designed to needlessly delay or block proposals.” 

The full op-ed by Speaker Smith and Candace Carroll is available HERE.