August 23, 2017

Mercatus Scholars' Amicus Curiae Brief on Georgia CON Laws

Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellows Christopher Koopman and Matthew Mitchell argue in an amicus brief filed in August that the Georgia Supreme Court should look beyond the intentions of the state’s certificate-of-need (CON) program and evaluate the program’s results. Recently, the state’s Supreme Court took up the case Women’s Surgical Center v. Reese, which questions the validity of the state’s CON programTeaming up with Robert Graboyes and James Bailey, both experts in regulation and health care, their brief explains that this case is an opportunity for the Court to examine the effect that CON laws have had on access, cost, and quality. 

Certificate-of-need laws require government permission before a healthcare provider may open or expand a facility, offer a new service, or purchase certain pieces of equipment. The brief explains that both economic theory and empirical evidence indicate that not only do CON laws fail to achieve their goals, but there is strong evidence that the costs of these barriers to entry outweigh the benefits.