Monday, August 5, 2019

The Con on CON Continues

It sure would have been nice if abolishing the Certificate of Need had been discussed during the silly season this year.  Heaven knows the candidates expounded on almost every topic under the sun - except the certificate of need.  The hospital cartel likes it for obvious reasons.  The media won't bring it up because well, it doesn't involve spending more money.  Bureaucrats like it because it gives them more power.  It doesn't involve giving freebies to patients so well, no votes there.  However, the CON is appropriately named because this con is one of the main reasons Mississippi ranks dead last in access to health care.  Oh well.

Don't expect any of the candidates to mention PERS.  That one is toxic after Mayo and Collins went down four years ago.  Are there any other serious issues you wish had been mentioned during the election season? Post them below.  Serious issues. Don't be silly or stupid.  BS issues won't be approved. 


Anonymous said...

Medical Marijuana

Anonymous said...

Mr. Fish, you are so right -- PERS. This is going to bite the state in the ass.

Anonymous said...

Gasoline tax so our roads and bridges can be repaired. Mississippi looks like a third world country.

Anonymous said...

Open primaries

Anonymous said...

“because this con is one of the main reasons Mississippi ranks dead last in access to health care”

given that 12 of the 15 best states for access to healthcare have CON laws, this dog won’t hunt

Anonymous said...

Attn 10:04 Where is the tax money going that is and has been collected for road repair? Especially in Jacktown. On another note, maybe, had the airport commission not spent all of the money on a "business" trip to Paris (yes that Paris in France), they could afford to fix that hole on the west runway.

Kingfish said...

Earlier post

Anonymous said...

Abolish ABC - the most blatant example of government bureaucracy that serves absolutely no purpose.

Anonymous said...

Eliminate IHL - a complete waste of taxpayer money. The universities are autonomous in the eyes of their alumni and frankly in the eyes of elected officials. IHL is a bureaucracy looking for a reason to exist.

Anonymous said...

The primary reason that press and media wont push ending the CON requirement in Mississippi is they covet the big advertising money from hospitals and other health care operations that suppress their competition thru the CON requirements.

Eliminating CON is not an instant cure for our health care problems in MS, but it would likely bring costs down, which would save money at both the federal and state levels.

This battle has been fought for decades in the state Legislature. No change in over 30 years. The CON used to be mandated federally but now is not. Most states eliminated this archaic law decades ago; a mere handful still have it.

The study referred to by 10:14 is biased toward wealthier states and penalizes states with a lot of low-income or very low income citizens. Read the questions to see for yourself. It has nothing to do with CON.

Medicinal marijuana is an issue not discussed. It is about 3,000 signatures away from being on the ballot thru initiative. I think folks will be surprised how much support it has amongst the general public.

Also, nobody ever brings up constitutional changes or a new constitution. That was a huge issue in a couple of elections during the 1980's, but nothing ever happened.

Oilfree said...

Tobacco Tax
Increase would bring in some tax money and more importantly discourage use of a substance that is well know to cause health problems. Not to mention the increased cost of treating those problems. But hey, Halley's group lobbies for them so a non starter!

Anonymous said...


1) right, the access ranking isn’t directly about CONs, so it provides an objective comparison, not an interest-group message.

2) by “mere handful” you mean 35 of 50? Indiana, a conservative state, enacted a CON law in 2018.

more generally:

CON has little to do with access. You don’t have less access to hospital care because you live in Madison County and drive to St Dominic in Hinds. People who tell you otherwise are hospital lobbyists, on the take from hospital lobbyists, or just gullible.

If we wanted to increase access, Medicaid expansion would be the obvious way to go.

Anonymous said...

If we wanted to increase access, Medicaid expansion would be the obvious way to go.

How does expansion increase access? Be specific.

Anonymous said...

Make it illegal for elected officials to appear in public service announcements funded with taxpayer dollars.

Anonymous said...

1:20, I can’t decide are you joking or not. Pardon me if I’ve erred.

Poor people without health insurance don’t go to the doctor for checkups & nonemergencies.

Compare to Medicare: would so many older folks go to the doctor without it?

GAO study summarized here:

Anonymous said...

Where would we be without our part-time legislators. At least they get a fast track to their portion of PERS, or SLURP, or whatever they call it. From what I recall, one year of their part-time job counts for four years toward PERS retirement. Think about that for a minute...the teacher who retires with 25 years would have "accrued" 100 years in the PERS system based on the legislature's crooked math.

Don't expect these jokers to do anything of substance.

Anonymous said...

Poor people without health insurance don’t go to the doctor for checkups & nonemergencies.

That has nothing to do with access.

Anonymous said...

What the heck, let the MS Hospital Association’s fake insurance company and Bill Waller or Jim Hood expand Obamacare and service the poor through a sole source contract with MHA’s bogus insurance company that exists on paper only. Go ahead, while you are at it, give hospitals the unfettered ability to run up more costs by buying unnecessary equipment, health clubs, more nursing homes and break our poor state by also eliminating CONs. This sounds like the perfect agenda for liberals Bill Waller and Jim Hood. Doing this will drive up the costs of government and private health care costs will go through the roof. Not only will taxpayers have more burden with these potentially devastating cost Increases for Medicaid, Medicare, these same taxpayers (working people) will also be footing the bill for increasing costs for private insurance. The reason some Mississippi hospitals are in danger of closing is that there are too many and they provide substandard care.. So go ahead, let them run wild and unchecked. What we really need is for people to take responsibility for themselves, eat right, exercise, get regular check up from Family Doctors, etc...control obesity and you eliminate a lot of chronic illnesses. And a regular check up helps identify health issues for early intervention. Hospitals need to be held to a high standard of care and we need more physicians and nurses!

Anonymous said...

In the category of other important issues not discussed:

1. Abolish our draconian liquor laws.
2. Reducing high infant mortality rates (it ain't all about abortion, folks)
3. Legalizing medical cannabis (no, I'm not Singletary)

Anonymous said...

When will the state start executing the scum on death row? We taxpayers are spending a fortune keeping them alive.

Anonymous said...

The.CON law has no teeth. UMC is exempt. It’s very aggressively competing to get all patients away from other hospitals and doctors. Yet, it plays by different rules. Mississippi doesn’t have the need for 2 Gamma Knife units. CMMC welcomed UMC physicians and residents to their Gamma Knife. Nevertheless, UMC got their own. CMMC will likely have to shut theirs down. Make UMC subject to CON or abolish it!

Anonymous said...

@ 2:58 When you talk about a sole source contract... Put it out for bid and have a requirement in the RFP that the insurance company owners also pay the state share for Medicaid reform. I'm not aware of another insurance company that would do that.

As far as increasing commercial insurance costs for others, the current uncompensated care costs that hospitals incur does a nice job of doing that.

Anonymous said...

As a healthcare executive, I have been on both sides of the CON issue, fighting to keep it and fighting to abolish it depending on where I lived and the health of the state. More than half the states have CON and for good reason. In a state with a small population and severe health needs, CON is essential to keep rural hospitals open. If you look at states where CON has been sunset or abolished, you will frequently see predatory behavior, many times from not-for-profit healthcare systems. In addition, denying Medicaid expansion has sent hundreds of millions of dollars to other states while the needs of the poor population in Mississippi could have benefited.

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