Colbeck legislation cuts anti-competitive bureaucracy, saves money in health care

So called “certificate of need” clearly not needed


Senator Patrick Colbeck

Senator Patrick Colbeck

LANSING, Mich.State Sen. Patrick Colbeck introduced legislation on Thursday that would repeal anti-competitive state laws most commonly referred to as “certificate of need” (CON), which among other things artificially limit what equipment health care providers such as hospitals are able to make available to patients.

Colbeck said that whenever government artificially limits the supply of a product it invariably drives up the costs of providing it. He explained that the same laws of economics apply to health care, but they are magnified by a lack of health care cost transparency. As a case in point, health care spending is roughly 11 percent higher per capita in states with CON laws than those without them. Fifteen other states do not require CONs, including states as diverse as California, Texas, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

“By driving down the cost of health care, we can impact people’s lives directly when they’re visiting the hospital and the doctor,” Colbeck said. “But we’ll also be able to increase access to services, inject more competition and transparency, reduce drive times, free up tax dollars and even help lower auto-insurance rates. Out-of-control health care costs touch so many aspects of our lives, making changes like this to stop industry protectionism would dramatically change our overall quality of life in Michigan for the better and is long overdue.”

The main bill in the package, Senate Bill 975, has been referred to the Senate Health Policy Committee.



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