Selling CONs and Legalizing Marijuana

Somerset physician Kevin Kavanagh has an interesting idea relative to Certificate of Need…sell them! You can read his take, published in the Kentucky Medical News by clicking here.

Now, I know some you believe that Kentucky’s CONs are already bought and sold. Kavanagh’s point is that the Commonwealth should charge a material fee for a CON just like the FCC does for a broadcast television license.  In effect, Kavanaugh would legalize the sale of CONs.

He goes on to argue that the proceeds from the CON auction, and the federal match which in effect triples the Commonwealth’s funding, will close the deficit in Medicaid spending.

The argument is similar to the one made by Gatewood Galbraith that legalizing the sale of marijuana and then taxing such sales will help solve our budget problems. Except that would work!

(I have always admired Galbraith’s selflessness around this issue…clearly taxing pot would hit him in the pocketbook).

In all seriousness, the Commonwealth does need to reform its CON laws. And, that would include a more robust licensing approach. I just don’t see it as a solution to the Medicaid funding crisis.

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