WRAL asks: “Does North Carolina’s ‘CON’ law help or hurt access to and cost of health care?” It’s a good piece and worth the read.

Reforming CON is a perennial policy issue for the John Locke Foundation. We have been informing North Carolinians about their Certificate of Need law for years and years.

Roy Cordato wrote in 2005 that it was “Time for Repeal” of CON. He began his report by asking readers to “Imagine an economic system where market competition was viewed as a wasteful activity that needed to be discouraged or even prohibited by government.” He then showed how difficult it would be to open a new restaurant according to government policies that, readers would soon find out, are actually used regarding providing additional medical services. He wrote:

Most people would look at such a system and think “this is crazy, only a Soviet-style central planner could be happy with such a bureaucratic nightmare.”

Besides, we all understand it is competition that makes the consumers in the marketplace better off. Competition brings lower prices, more convenience, better quality, new technologies and innovations, and so on.

If we do, then we already know the answer to WRAL’s title question.