South Carolina joins West Virginia in Repealing the CON

Removing Certificate of Need requirements would put more services within reach of Iowans and help slow down the rising costs of health care in our state.

Earlier this spring, we told you how West Virginia passed legislation repealing several provisions of its Certificate of Need (CON) Laws.  As we wrote then, “the purpose of a CON law is to regulate (that is, choke) health care supply unless a state government agency or board determines more to be needed.”  While Iowa’s legislature was not able to send any CON legislation to Governor Kim Reynolds, despite good legislative progress, South Carolina just joined West Virginia in scoring a free-market victory for health care this year.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster noted the change means, “South Carolinians will have greater access to affordable health care services with the repeal of the certificate of need laws.  Everyone benefits when the proven power of the free market is unleashed in our state.”

Even before the 2023 legislative sessions delivered CON reforms in their respective states, lawmakers in West Virginia (2018) and South Carolina (2019) had taken significant steps forward by reducing certain CON requirements.  This successful incremental approach could be a blueprint for the Iowa Legislature to follow as they consider ways to expand health care access in our state, especially in our rural areas that have experienced a sharp decline in health care facilities and providers in recent years.

As so many Americans, and certainly Iowans, are concerned about health care’s rising costs and seemingly dwindling supply, state legislatures need to act.  Removing CON requirements would knock down barriers that only serve to protect established interests and prevent competition.  Getting government intervention out of the way could put more services within reach of Iowans and help slow down the rising costs of health care in this state.

 Print a PDF