Palmetto Promise Institute – Repealing Certificate of Need Regulations

PRESS RELEASE by Palmetto Promise Institute

January 22, 2020

Media contact: Oran P. Smith, PhD
PPI Senior Fellow
(803) 360-1194

Palmetto Promise Introduces Healthcare Freedom Agenda with Support from Physicians and Lawmakers

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Jan. 22, 2020) – Palmetto Promise Institute, joined by Senators Wes Climer, Tom Davis, and Mike Gambrell, introduced a Healthcare Freedom Agenda for South Carolina at a news conference Tuesday morning. Reforms include protecting Direct Primary Care, repealing Certificate of Need regulations, empowering patients with the Right to Shop for healthcare services, and protecting Healthcare Sharing ministries. Legislation was introduced on all four (4) pillars of the Healthcare Freedom Agenda last week, the first week of the 2020 legislative session. The Palmetto Promise report and fact sheets are available to view and download here.

Here are some highlights from the news conference:

Senator Wes Climer: “It’s not just about coverage, it’s about quality and cost. The themes that run through all four planks of the Healthcare Freedom Agenda get to those two questions: higher quality care and more affordable care.”

Senator Tom Davis: “If consumers have the right to choose among providers, what you get is a better product at a lower cost. We’ve seen that work in every other aspect of our economy, so there’s no reason why it can’t work in the healthcare sector. That’s what we’re talking about here with Direct Primary Care, The Right to Shop, and eliminating Certificate of Need requirements.”

The Charleston County Medical Society President Dr. Marcelo Hochman issued a statement in support of efforts by lawmakers and Palmetto Promise Institute to repeal the Palmetto State’s Certificate of Need regulations:

“The Charleston County Medical Society is pleased to support Palmetto Promise Institute and its Healthcare Freedom Agenda.  Specifically, full repeal of the Certificate of Need Law as filed in the House by Reps. Smith, Mace and 30 co-sponsors and in the Senate by Sens. Campsen, Climer, Davis and others is critical.  40 years of experience shows that the CON law DIRECTLY limits access, limits options, increases prices, hinders quality and limits charity care for the patients of South Carolina.”

Upstate physicians Dr. Melinda Moretz (President, Spartanburg County Medical Society) and Dr. Ted Swann spoke in favor of efforts by PPI and lawmakers to protect Direct Primary Care (DPC) in South Carolina through S.445. Dr. Moretz had this to say at the press conference:

“Health insurance is a financial arrangement. Individuals and or employers pay insurance premiums. Insurance companies pay doctors and hospitals for services deemed “reimbursable”. Direct Primary Care is a healthcare relationship. It is one between a patient and their doctor. Individuals and or employers pay for services directly in the form of a monthly membership for primary healthcare services. We ask that you support South Carolinians’ freedom to choose how they pay for healthcare by supporting Senate Bill 445.”

The discussion about healthcare reform in South Carolina has been dominated by a debate over coverage, from Medicaid expansion to the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, this has sidelined more substantive conversations about how to provide true care—not just insurance coverage—to South Carolinians who lack access, quality, and control over their healthcare decisions. These reforms will directly address the growing problems with our healthcare system, providing greater access to quality care for all South Carolinians, not just expensive insurance coverage for some.


Palmetto Promise Institute (PPI) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) educational organization. PPI conducts public policy research concentrating on energy issues (ex: Santee Cooper), education issues (choice and finance reform), tax reform and healthcare reform. PPI is dedicated to creating a free and flourishing South Carolina, where every individual has the opportunity to reach their full potential.