Hospitals Shouldn’t Need State Permission Slips

In 2006, a Norwich neurology practice with a new $1.5 million MRI scanner had a simple request. It asked the state for permission to use the scanner for all of its patients. The state said, “No.” For four years the practice had to fight state regulators before it finally got permission to use the scanner the way it wanted to in the first place. If the state had granted permission four years earlier, what would have happened? Would any patients have been injured or harmed? No. In fact, the quality of care could have been higher. The state regulates the use of MRI scanners – and a host of other health care related devices and practices – through the use of “certificates of need.” These certificates are basically permission slips issued by the state, and they are used to limit the supply of healthcare. In a new Yankee Institute policy brief, “Does Connecticut Have Enough Healthcare?” released March 26, we say it is time to end the use of certificates of need in Connecticut. Last year, state regulators used the certificate of need to kill a $500 million investment by Tenet Healthcare in Connecticut hospitals. Certificates of need were dreamed up decades ago as a way to reduce healthcare spending by reducing the amount of healthcare available. While the policy has reduced the amount of healthcare available, it has caused prices to rise. Connecticut has more services covered by certificate of need than 32 other states, including 14 states that don’t have any permission slip requirements. To be clear these certificates have nothing to do with the quality of...

A Look at Who Pays Connecticut’s Income Tax

by Fergus Cullen, MPA, Executive Director of the Yankee Institute for Public Policy Published on May 20, 2009 by the Yankee Institute for Public Policy EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: As Governor M. Jodi Rell and the General Assembly seek to close the existing state budget deficit and adopt a balanced budget for the next fiscal biennium, various proposals call for increasing taxes on the affluent. Several groups argue the wealthy aren’t paying their “fair share” of taxes. However, a new Yankee Institute study of who pays Connecticut’s state income tax reveals that: • The top 20 percent of Connecticut income earners – those who make more than $100,000 a year – already pay 80 percent of state income tax receipts. • The top 6 percent of filers – those over $250,000 – pay half of all state income taxes. • The top 1.3 percent of taxpayers – those earning more than $1 million – pay 35 percent of total income tax receipts, or more than $2.1 billion in 2007. The bottom 60 percent of Connecticut taxpayers – those with incomes under about $60,000 – paid less than 10 percent of state income taxes, and the bottom 40 percent of all filers – those with incomes of less than $35,000 – effectively paid no state income taxes. Download the full report!...