Blogs by Rep Bob Lynn

Blog site of Representative Bob Lynn, Alaska House of Representatives,District 31 Anchorage, Alaska. Blogs consist of public comments during legislative sessions, speeches, political commentary, as well as personal observations, and some journal type entries. Comments are invited.

Location: Anchorage, Alaska, United States

Member of the Alaska State House of Represeentatives since 2003. US Air Force, Retired; military bandsman; F94C interceptor pilot; Vietnam service as radar controller (Monkey Mountain), radar site commander(Pleiku); Government Contract Management; Public school Teacher, Retired. Married 55 years to Marlene Wagner Lynn, 6 children, 20 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild. Member St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church. Former Tucson Arizona policeman, Ambulance Driver and Mortician's Assistant, Realtor (currently on referral status).

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Following is my testimony I presented today to the House Health, Education, and Social Services Committee(HESS) in support of HB4, the bill I've sponsored to eliminate the so-called "Certificate of Need" for medical facilities. As you'll read, I believe the certificate of need is poor public policy.
Madame Chair Peggy Wilson, Members of the Committee, thank you for hearing HB 4. There are three major purposes for this bill.

One: To increase potential availability of medical care and choice of provider.

Two: To create potential lower costs for patients and workers’ compensation.

Three: To employ the time-proven principles of traditional American free enterprise.

To me, the question is: Why should someone have to go “hat in hand” to a government bureaucrat to beg for a Certificate of Need to open a business?

In America, the free market should decide if a health care business, or any other business, is needed – not the state. I believe fee enterprise motivates excellence, encourages lower prices through competition, and benefits consumers – including patients. The current Certificate of Need creates a de facto medical monopoly. Quite frankly, I think the Certificate of Need could more accurately be called a “Certificate of Monopoly”!

People who need medical help deserve more choice of medical providers, not less. The Certificate of Monopoly limits choices. That’s the problem in a nutshell. Medical costs are skyrocketing. The way it is now, a lot of good people, and their kids, can’t afford to get sick. Deliverance of Alaskans from medical monopolies should help lower medical costs. Economics 101 taught us that, typically, monopolies increase costs, and competition lowers them.

I know that some of those who would maintain Certificate of Need monopolies will tell you that health care facilities are a “special case.” Well, you’ll be hearing from some experts who, in the words of news commentator Paul Harvey, will “tell you the rest of the story.”

Sometimes we have philosophical reasons for voting on bills the way we do – I know I do – and philosophical reasons can be OK. So, if philosophically you believe monopolies are sometimes good, vote against HB 4. If you believe competition will increase costs rather than lower costs, vote against HB 4.

But if you believe, as I do, that competition can lower costs, and that the American free enterprise system can work in the State of Alaska, just as well as any other place - then please vote to move HB 4 out of committee.

Again, I want to sincerely thank the Rep. Wilson, and also thank her aide Becky Rooney, for working with my office to make to today’s hearing on this important piece of legislation possible. Thank you.
The bill was held in committee without action, and will likely not be heard again until February 2008.


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