Policy Documents

The Failure of Government Central Planning: Washington's Medical Certificate of Need Program

John Barnes –
January 1, 2006

Public policy in Washington should focus on assuring access to affordable, high quality health care for all the people of our state.  The Certificate of Need program fails to advance this fundamental goal.  This study describes the history of the Certificate of Need concept, summarizes how the Washington law works, compares its stated goals with actual performance, and presents practical policy recommendations for improving access to affordable health care for the people of Washington.