It’s time to increase healthcare access and reduce the cost of healthcare in Alaska. It’s time to put an end to certificate-of-need (CON) laws.
CON laws require health care providers to obtain government permission slips to open new facilities or purchase some equipment, restricting access to vital services. CON laws create healthcare monopolies.
The Federal Trade Commission (under the Trump, Obama, and Bush administrations) has urged states to end CON laws, citing the fact that they are anticompetitive and fail to provide any meaningful benefit or protection to health care consumers. This includes a letter sent by the FTC to the Alaska Senate in 2019 regarding the same legislative language contained in SB 26.
While some states have repealed CON laws, Alaska still has them on the books
The results of this are two-fold.
First, the price of healthcare is much higher. According to a study by the NBER, when a single hospital provides medical services in an area, patients pay 12 percent higher prices for medical care.
CON laws also significantly harm patient health. Prohibiting health care facilities from opening in rural and under-served areas prevents families from accessing lifesaving treatments in a timely manner. Hospital statistics compiled by the Mercatus Center show individuals suffering from pneumonia, heart attacks, and heart failures suffer higher mortality rates in states with CON barriers as a result of these restrictions.
Sign this letter if you think it’s time for Alaska to repeal our CON laws and help increase access and reduce the cost of health care.