Thursday, June 07, 2012

Certificate of Need: Kentucky's "Big Gulp" ban

Kentucky law requires health care providers to ask permission of Kentucky politicians in order to expand or offer new medical services. Big Medical, which funds powerful Frankfort politicians' campaigns, likes it that way so we get bipartisan nonsensical defenses of this approach, called Certificate of Need, every time someone asks.

We need to keep asking because Big Medical is running away with the game, regardless of what the Supreme Court rules later this month on the mother of all Big Medical bills, ObamaCare.

Every time you see hospitals and medical practices consolidate, you are seeing the end result of this over-regulation. Oh, and the higher prices less competition provides as well.

Essentially under Kentucky law, we are doing something much like Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York is doing to his citizens who like soft drinks. Only with a much higher price tag.

New Yorkers who want a 64 ounce Double Big Gulp of Mountain Dew now go to 7-11 and walk out with one cup. Under Bloomberg's intervention, the same gulper will need to buy four 16 ounce Mountain Dews for the same sugar and caffeine buzz, certainly at a higher price.

Under certificate of need, just as advancing technology could provide us innovations in healthcare in one big "cup," we are being forced out the door juggling four of them to make some politician happy.

If you live in Kentucky and hate the idea of Mayor Bloomberg's nanny state nonsense, please understand that we already have that and worse in Kentucky healthcare because of our certificate of need laws.

It's ironic but telling that Kentucky has been ushering in ObamaCare through its Department of Certificate of Need.

Maybe that has something to do with why Kentucky Republicans have been so squishy on ObamaCare.