South Carolina Governor Signs Certificate of Need Repeal Bill

Institute for Justice: ‘monumental moment for South Carolina’

Andrew Wimer
Andrew Wimer · May 18, 2023

COLUMBIA, S.C.—Gov. Henry McMaster signed, S.164, a bill to repeal most of South Carolina’s certificate of need (CON) requirements for healthcare facilities and services. A CON would still be required for long-term care facilities and the CON for hospitals would sunset after three years. The Institute for Justice (IJ), which has brought lawsuits against CON programs in several states including neighboring North Carolina, applauded the new law.

“This is a monumental moment for South Carolina,” said IJ Attorney Jaimie Cavanaugh. “I commend this legislature for recognizing how harmful CON laws are. Repealing CON will help all South Carolinians by decreasing healthcare costs and increasing access to needed care.”

IJ’s study “Conning the Competition” surveyed CON laws nationwide. At their core, CON laws are anticompetitive government-mandated permission slips governing nearly every aspect of opening or expanding health care services. Although the federal government has agreed for decades that CON laws are a policy failure, dozens of states have been slow to repeal or reform their existing CON programs.