FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 3, 2023
SOUTH CAROLINA SENATE PASSES HEALTHCARE REFORM BILL
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Yesterday, the South Carolina Senate, under Republican leadership, overwhelmingly adopted S. 164, a bill to end the certification of need requirements for healthcare facilities. The bill, which received bipartisan support, aims to increase access to healthcare and decrease the cost of treatment.
“With this vote, South Carolinians are one step closer to greater access to more and better healthcare options, especially in rural areas of our State,” Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey said. “In bipartisan fashion, Senators voted to end the outdated Certificate of Need program, thereby eliminating the need to ask the government for permission to open a healthcare facility or purchase equipment. The State should not be in the business of determining who can be in the healthcare business. More facilities and better equipment will enable more opportunities for treatment and lower costs of care. We look forward to working with the House of Representatives to send this important reform to Governor McMaster as soon as possible.”
The adoption of S. 164, by Senator Climer of York County, marks the second time the Senate has voted for a repeal of the Certificate of Need (CON) program, sending a very similar bill to the House last year. This session, due to the popularity of the legislation, the bill moved quickly out of the Senate Medical Affairs Committee and secured a priority position on the calendar.
“S. 164 will help treat a sick regulatory system that’s hindered South Carolinians access to healthcare. Getting rid of bureaucratic red tape means better health outcomes for this generation,” said Danny Verdin, Chairman of the Medical Affairs Committee.
“Twelve states have repealed their CON laws and the effect is clear and irrefutable: healthcare access and quality increases and costs decrease, especially in rural areas,” Senator Tom Davis, who advocated for the bill on the floor of the Senate, added. “For this reason, both the Obama and the Trump administrations urged states to repeal CON laws that give hospitals a monopoly over healthcare.”