Letter: Certificates of need lead to monopolies

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Editor,

Doesn’t anyone see the irony of a Republican Indiana assemblyman proposing new laws and regulations essentially to thwart the private sector from determining its own best interests? Especially in the current environment where deregulation has proven a tonic to economic well-being? The academic research has convincingly shown that certificates of need are not able to restrain health care costs, the ostensible justification. It’s why some states have repealed their CON requirements as useless and ineffective regulatory burdens. CONs have most often been used to establish or maintain a monopoly position by competitors, which, as we know, allows that provider to increase its charges to consumers.

In all of those “Best Town in America,” “Best Places to Live in America,” “Best Places to (fill in the blank)” surveys, not Carmel nor Indiana nor Indianapolis nor this metro area has ever been identified as a place that has too many hospital beds, is over-doctored or has too many medical facilities. Of course, this drumbeat for a state CON isn’t about containing medical costs or determining need, it is about preventing St. Vincent’s from developing a facility at 96th and Spring Mill to maintain the character of the area. Now, whether that development is good or bad for the area is a question, but the advocacy for CON legislation/regulation is a cynical, disingenuous effort and should not prevail.

Doug Ellrich, 96th and Spring Mill area resident

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