At a recent health care debate at UAA, Sarah Palin showed that she is the candidate who understands the real problem creating higher health care costs for Alaskans: government restriction of competitive services through the State’s certificate of need (CON) laws. These laws restrict doctors from providing a cost effective choice in medical care and only serve to protect medical monopolies that are making substantial profits from Alaskans.
Most Alaskans aren’t even aware of this needless government program. It is currently being used to try to shut down an imaging center I have established in Fairbanks to provide consumers a choice. During CON hearings in Fairbanks, representatives of union health care funds testified that health care has become so expensive, it is cheaper to fly their members somewhere else for treatment, including out of state.
The high cost of health care has also caused a crisis in health insurance affordability, state and local retirement programs (PERS/TERS) and in Medicaid which is expected to go up by $100 million this next year. CON is also a big contributor to the shortage of doctors in Alaska, currently estimated at 375 doctors.
The US Department of Justice Anti Trust Division has identified CON programs as a leading contributor to high health care costs. Thankfully at least one of our candidates Sarah Palin gets it.
Dr. Robert L. Bridges
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