Republican members of the Virginia General Assembly are calling for reforms to Virginia’s Certificate of Public Need Laws. Delegates John O’Bannon (R-Henrico), Kathy Byron (R-Bedford), Christopher Peace (R-Hanover), and Senators Steve Newman (R-Bedford), Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg), and Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach) held a press conference Wednesday to highlight proposed legislation to repeal or reform COPN. Reforming or repealing COPN will create a more free-market healthcare system, improve access for patients and help control costs. Representatives from the medical community also participated in the press conference and called on legislators to pass reforms this General Assembly session.
“The House of Delegates clearly remains opposed to Medicaid expansion. Instead of making an already struggling government program bigger, our focus should be on true reforms that improve access and keep costs under control. COPN laws limit competition, which means fewer choices and higher costs for Virginia families,” said Delegate John O’Bannon (R-Henrico). “Reforming COPN is the best way to improve access for patients, expand healthcare services and keep costs under control.”
“In my district, and in rural communities across Virginia, access and affordability are the biggest healthcare challenges facing patients,” said Delegate Kathy Byron (R-Bedford), Chair of the Health Insurance Reform Commission. “Expanding Medicaid will only make it more difficult for low income Virginians to get access to the healthcare they need. Virginia needs comprehensive COPN reform to allow the free market to create competition, increase choices and reduce costs.”
“Virginian’s deserve access to quality, affordable healthcare,” said Delegate Chris Peace (R-Hanover). “Yet far too often, local communities are denied increased access to basic services by healthcare regulators based on decisions made by unelected bureaucrats. Virginia should reform our COPN laws so that local communities can decide which services they need, and allow for competition to drive costs down.”
“It is important we craft COPN reforms that work for Virginia,” said Senator Steve Newman (R-Bedford), Chairman of the Senate Education and Health Committee. “Virginia’s COPN laws can limit innovation by limiting competition. As a result, Virginia families are faced with limited access to care and higher costs in many areas. If we want to see healthcare improve, we must start this year to reform our COPN laws in a way that works for Virginians.”
“One of the biggest issues facing Virginians today is healthcare,” said Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg). “Because of the damaging effects of Obamacare, costs continue to rise and access continues to be limited. By reforming Virginia’s COPN laws, we can take meaningful steps to increase access and control costs, and give much needed relief to Virginia families.”
“The conversation on COPN is long overdue,” said Senator Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach). “This is the year we have the discussion and reform Virginia’s archaic COPN laws.”
“As a physician, I see firsthand the negative effects that burdensome COPN regulations are having on healthcare in Virginia,” said Dr. John Bowman (Chief Medical Officer for OrthoVirginia). The current law increases heath care costs for our patients, limits their access to care and stifles competition and innovation. Deregulation, coupled with standards that ensure quality of care, will best serve Virginia patients. It is my hope that the General Assembly will make meaningful reforms to COPN this year that result in lower costs and increased access for our patients.”
Republican legislators participating in the press conference included Chairman Bobby Orrock (R-Caroline), Delegate John O’Bannon (R-Henrico), Delegate Kathy Byron (R-Bedford), Delegate Chris Peace (R-Hanover), Delegate Rob Bell (R-Albemarle), Delegate Dickie Bell (R-Staunton), Delegate Scott Garrett (R-Lynchburg), Delegate Riley Ingram (R-Hopewell), Delegate Chris Head (R-Botetourt), Senator Steve Newman (R-Bedford), Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg), and Senator Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach). Dr. Mark Bowman, Chief Medical Officer for OrthoVirginia also participated in the press conference.