House votes to end limits on new hospitals

in Statewide by

State regulations that limit the construction of new hospitals would be eliminated under a bill passed by the Florida House.

The House on Friday voted 72 to 28 in favor of a bill that Gov. Rick Scott strongly supports. Scott ran a for-profit chain of hospitals before starting his political career.

It’s unlikely the Senate will consider the measure.

Currently the state grants a so-called certificate of need before a hospital is built, replaced or takes on a specialty service such as organ transplants. The bill eliminates the requirement.

Republican supporters say the proposal would increase competition and therefore lower costs and improve access.

But Democrats say it would allow new providers to cherry pick patients. They also argue it would lead to new hospitals being built in affluent areas at the expense of low-income communities.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.