Certificate of Need laws decrease competition, resulting in higher medical costs and reduced healthcare access.
Regulatory reform also includes repealing specific regulations, such as obsolete Certificate of Need (CON) laws. In 2023, West Virginia and South Carolina both repealed CON laws. CON laws provide monopoly power for established medical providers. If a new provider wants to establish a practice, CON law requires the existing providers to permit a new facility to open. This would be similar to establishing a law requiring Hy-Vee, Fareway, Walmart, or Target to approve a new grocery store from opening. CON laws also limit healthcare accessibility, especially in rural areas.
“Healthcare costs are 11 percent higher in states with CON laws than in states without.”
– Kaiser Family Foundation
An example of this is the shortage of birth centers and midwives. CON laws also make health care more expensive. Repealing CON laws would be a common-sense regulatory reform measure that would serve all Iowans.
Forty-five years of CON law has not made healthcare in Iowa better or less expensive. Instead, healthcare costs have skyrocketed, partly due to limited competition to drive down prices. Further, access to healthcare has decreased, particularly in rural areas, leaving people driving long distances to receive care. It’s time to end this government-mandated monopoly and let the free market address these healthcare problems. It’s time to repeal Iowa’s CON law.