CON Drama: The Battle Over South Carolina's Program Continues

In mid-April the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the state's certificate of need program would stand. Now, the state's public health department is requesting the court review its ruling, according to a report by The Post and Courier.  

The court heard arguments in favor and against the program last month. The court ultimately decided that while Governor Haley vetoed the nearly $2 million needed to run the program, her veto power does not extend to the point of eliminating the program entirely.

The court mandated that the Department of Health and Environmental Control find an alternative method of funding, but attorneys representing the department point out that any emergency funding would only be able to temporarily run the program.

In her initial veto message, Governor Haley indicated she believed the CON program was "an unnecessary regulation for the healthcare market." After the Supreme Court's decision, she filed an amicus brief in support of the DHEC. "The Supreme Court's unprecedented and legally unsupported decision ordering DHEC to fund the certificate of need program has set a dangerous standard going forward — one that potentially gives agencies the power to ignore the will of the governor and the legislate," she said, according to the report.

At the time of the veto, several projects worth an estimated $100 million were placed in limbo. Healthcare leaders were unsure of how to proceed in light of the program's unsure future, a future which still remains unclear. Will the court's decision stand and will the DHEC find a sustainable source of funding? Or, will the program ultimately disintegrate?

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