A doctor is suing the state of North Carolina, claiming that its “certificate of need” law gives hospitals a monopoly on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
Dr. Gajendra Singh, a surgeon from Winston-Salem, North Carolina tried to open his own MRI center. He attempted to buy a MRI machine with the idea that he could turn a profit charging only $500 per MRI scan. Singh got the idea after visiting an outpatient clinic for abdominal pain, where he discovered that an ultrasound would cost $1,200.
Unfortunately for Dr. Singh, as well as the community of Winston-Salem, it is against North Carolina law for an individual with good need to possess a MRI machine. North Carolina has “certificate of need” laws that mandate government approval before a business may offer many types of health care goods and services. According to the conservative Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, only Vermont and Hawaii have more certificate of need laws than does North Carolina.
“Certificate of need” laws cause a shortage of medical care, causing prices to rise. This is not capitalism; this is a government-created, artificial, limit on supply. When prices rise as fast as they currently are in health care these days, consumers look at alternative economic ideas.
One failed ideology, Socialism, is always there, lurking in the shadows. The problem is that, as American Socialists have recently admitted, getting socialized health care will require doctors to take a 30-50% pay cut. This will push the brightest minds out of medicine, thus hurting the quality of our health care.
The best solution is for states such as North Carolina to get rid of all “certificate of need” laws. Even left-wing California does not have any such laws.