Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Certificate of need law

In her State of the union address on January 16, 2008 Governor Sarah Palin expressed her desire to eliminate Alaska’s certificate of need law. With this statement the governor is demonstrating that she cares more about the needs of profit-seeking business interests than the Alaska public’s need for affordable health care. As I wrote in my Dose of Reality column published in the Ester Republic in September 2007, the elimination of the certificate of need law is guaranteed to drive Alaska health care costs up. Proliferation of unneeded for-profit health care facilities will force nonprofit hospitals to raise their overall rates to compensate for losses incurred when their existing facilities are underutilized. Not only that, health care consumers must also bear the costs of the for-profit facilities, and part of that cost is the profit raked off by the operators of these facilities. Their primary purpose is to make money, and for them the provision of health care is secondary. Counter to what Governor Palin says, it will be a disservice to the Alaska public to repeal our certificate of need law.

1 comment:

Deirdre Helfferich said...

I found the Administrative Order establishing the Health Care Strategies Council; this body will determine much of what happens in our future health care options in the state.