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Certificate-of-need laws, which forbid medical providers from purchasing new equipment, expanding their facilities, or establishing new locations without government permission, have taken a huge toll on Iowa’s health care system and its patients, especially during the pandemic, writes Americans for Prosperity Foundation-Iowa State Director Drew Klein in an op-ed for the Des Moines Register.
Klein cites a new report from Americans for Prosperity Foundation on CON laws, which focuses on Virginia, South Carolina, Michigan, and Iowa, to support his argument.
[The report] finds that from July 2016 to February 2020, the Iowa Health Facilities Council rejected over $250 million in requests for health care investments across the state.
Providers had to pay, on average, $15,774 in application fees for CON. That doesn’t even count the cost of legal representation or outside consultants to prepare applications. The costs of going through government hoops undoubtedly deterred many from even trying to offer new or expanded health care services.
This has consequences. One Mercatus Center study estimated that Iowa would have 51 additional hospitals and four more ambulatory surgery centers without these laws.
“Maybe the COVID-19 pandemic will produce an awakening for our lawmakers,” Klein concludes. “The evidence is stacking up against CON, showing that these laws reduce access to quality, affordable care and shackle providers to an unworkable regime that stifles innovation.”
Read the full op-ed here. Then, take a deep dive into how Iowa health care is suffering under the state’s CON laws.