Governor McMaster: “CON has been weaponized.”

May 4, 2022

Oran P. Smith, Ph.D

Senior Fellow

On February 12, 2020, in the days before COVID shut down much of our country, Dr. Marcelo Hochman of Charleston and I sat down with Governor Henry McMaster in his office at the Statehouse.

Our purpose? To ask the Governor to help us in our efforts to see South Carolina’s onerous Certificate of Need (CON) law repealed so that hospitals could stop weaponizing the CON process to prevent new healthcare facilities and services from being launched.

We are very pleased with the reception we received that day, and now, true to his promise, at the best possible time, the Governor has asked the South Carolina House of Representatives to fully repeal Certificate of Need.

Governor McMaster’s full official letter is attached, but here is a key excerpt:

I believe that CON has become antiquated and ineffective in today’s modern free marketplace, much in the same way that rotary phones are no longer practical for telecommunication purposes. CON stifles entrepreneurship, capital investment, and competition, while limiting access and creating monopolies in South Carolina’s healthcare market.

The Governor also mentions in his letter another formal request Palmetto Promise made to him some weeks later: to sign an executive order setting aside CON hospital bed limits so that hospitals would have the flexibility to care for COVID patients.

He did that as well.

That action was featured in this video explaining CON and the need for its repeal.

We are grateful for Governor McMaster’s strong support of efforts to repeal Certificate of Need!