Certificate of Need (CON) is the regulatory process through which medical providers must get approval from a state health planning board comprised of experts to open or expand a hospital, purchase more expensive machines (ex. MRI machines or CT scanners), or offer certain types of procedures (ex. cardiac catheterization).
Supporters say CON laws are important because without them, hospitals would over-build capacity and purchase unnecessary equipment, resulting in higher health care prices as they pass those costs on to patients. CON protects smaller, rural hospitals from predatory competition. Opponents say CON laws are top-down regulations that place artificial limits on health care services and facilities. CON limits health care access and higher prices since these regulations tend to protect existing medical providers from competition.
Scope of Practice refers to the services a health professional is allowed to deliver under the terms of their own professional state license and within the boundaries of their training. Supporters of expanding these laws say non-physician licensed health care professionals (ex. Advanced Practice Nurses) should be allowed to deliver care to the full extent of their training. This expands access to health care and reduces costs. Opponents of expanding scope of practice say doctors are best qualified to be the primary point of contact for all patient health care needs so that opportunities to diagnose and treat conditions aren’t overlooked.
Telehealth refers to remote delivery of certain health care appointments and monitoring.
Supporters of expanding telemedicine say it will improve patient access for those who are privately insured as well as those enrolled in Medicaid. Opponents argue expanding telehealth compromises quality of care. It is important for physicians to see patients in person most of the time and strict regulations are needed to maintain high quality of care.
Criminal Justice System
In recent years, there has been a change in the way many people view criminal justice. Nobody wants to be seen as soft on crime, but many people now view the criminal justice system as broken:
- Incarceration even for low-level non-violent offenses is the norm
- Criminalization of administrative and status crimes is found throughout the criminal code
- Criminal punishment fails to take into account mens rea (knowledge or intent of wrongdoing)
- Bail is often based on ability to pay rather than threat to public safety
Supporters of criminal justice reforms say the criminal justice system is a very expensive revolving door where nobody wins.
 Non-criminal act that is considered a violation of law due to status, such as age.
Supporters of government-sponsored economic development programs say it is important for government to give tax breaks to certain companies or industries to create jobs. Without these benefits the jobs will go to other states or not be created at all.
Opponents say these economic development programs allow government to pick winners and losers. While wealthy and well-connected businesses are able to successfully lobby for money and tax breaks, others that are less well-connected are not able to and end up shouldering a larger revenue responsibility.
What Will You Champion?
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