This One Weird Trick Could Improve Medical Care: New at Reason

Virginia could improve medical care for its residents by eliminating Certificates of Public Need.

A. Barton Hinkle writes:

Say you want to open a new grocery store. You do the market research, scout a location, develop a business plan, line up investors, get all the local zoning and other permits you need, and figure you have a decent shot. Then the state says you have to jump through one more hoop. You have to prove that the area actually needs a new grocery store. Oh, and one more thing: The other grocery stores nearby will have an opportunity to sound off on the question, too.

Any bets on what they'll say?

This, roughly, is how Virginia controls the amount of medical care available to its citizens. The Certificate of Public Need (COPN) system was created by congressional mandate many years ago. Some states repealed their COPN programs after Congress lifted the mandate. Virginia didn't.

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