Saturday, November 01, 2014
   
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The Tunica Times • P.O. Box 308/986 Magnolia Street, Tunica, MS 38676

Guest Column: A million pages of laws and counting

With more than a million pages of local, state and federal laws and regulations in this country, I’m not sure it’s a good thing our Legislature is busy passing new laws.

My favorite politician is Calvin Coolidge, who liked to nap in the White House during the afternoons. He believed the less he worked, the better off the country was.

One step in the right direction comes from Republican state Rep. Mark Baker of Brandon. He proposes to repeal Mississippi’s Certificate of Need (CON) law which restricts hospitals and clinics from opening.

Mississippi’s CON law was passed in 1974 when the federal government required it. By 1987, the Feds realized it was a bad law, and since then 14 states, including Texas, have repealed it. Not Mississippi.

It is a basic rule of economics that when you limit supply and demand goes up, you will have high prices and scarcity. Isn’t that exactly what we are seeing in the health care industry?

If a private company using private money wants to open a clinic or hospital, why would we want to stop that? Competition helps the consumer and lowers prices.

Since the CON laws were passed we have seen exactly what would be predicted – high prices and scarcity.

Trying to open a new hospital or clinic in Mississippi means years and years of expensive CON litigation. How does that help our state? It is time to repeal this misguided law.

Northside Democratic Sen. David Blount has proposed a law that will allow performance audits for private companies using state-funded incentives. Currently, $482 million in private incentives are exempt from such scrutiny.


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