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Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission Issue Joint Statement on Certificate-of-Need Laws in Illinois
Date:9/12/2008

g providers; and the CON process itself may be susceptible to corruption.

FTC Chairman William Kovacic underscored the importance of health care competition, stating that, "The health care industry provides us all with fundamental services at significant and vulnerable times. Vigorous competition can promote greater access to cost-effective, high-quality health care."

The joint statement also evaluates several arguments in support of CON laws, noting that the original cost-control reasons for CON laws no longer apply and that CON laws are an ineffective means to fund indigent care. For these reasons, the agencies encourage members of the Illinois task force -- as well as officials in other states that continue to require certificates of need -- to consider whether such laws do more harm than good.

Today's statement is based on the agencies' extensive experience with CON laws. The agencies jointly conducted hearings on issues in health care competition, including CON laws, in 2003; those hearings, and related research, led to a 2004 report, Improving Health Care: A Dose of Competition, which observed that, "on balance, CON programs are not successful in containing health care costs, and that they pose serious anticompetitive risks that usually outweigh their purported economic benefits." Today's statement is based on that report and more recent economic studies. Recently, the agencies have provided similar statements to the General Assembly and the Senate of the state of Georgia; the Committee on Health, Education and Social Services of the Alaska House of Representatives; and the Florida Senate Committee on Health and Human Services Appropriations.

A copy of today's joint statement is available on the Department of Justice's Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/atr. Hard copies of the statement are also available from the Justice Department's Antitrust Documents Group. The Antitrust Documen
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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