Gov. Rick Scott joined with House leaders and his former company Tuesday and put his support behind a plan to eliminate the controversial law that requires state approval for the building of new hospitals.
“Driving down healthcare costs is essential to expanding access to coverage and increasing quality,'' Scott said in a statement.
The House Health Innovation Subcommittee voted 9-3 along party lines to eliminate the so-called "certificate of need" process that requires state regulators to review and approve the construction of any new hospitals, the replacement of existing hospitals, or the development of certain expansive medical services such as organ transplants.
"When you have a free market, you get a better product at a lower cost and that’s going to help the access,’’ said Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, sponsor of the bill.
Opponents, including the Florida Hospitals Association, warned however, that removing the regulation would discourage hospitals from building and expanding in poor areas, resulting in health care deserts as hospitals concentrate in affluent neighborhoods.