During Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s term in office, his administration justified counterproductive Certificate of Need regulations like this:
“The purpose of Kentucky’s Certificate of Need process is to prevent the proliferation of health care facilities, health services and major medical equipment which increases the cost of quality health care in the commonwealth.”
For quite a while, this explanation worked well enough for the Beshear administration, too. In fact, a screen shot from August 25, 2008 showed that exactly the same language was still in use.
But something changed in the eight months since then.
This actually means something. In the original, saying “proliferation … which increases the cost of quality health care in the commonwealth” means all expansion of health care options makes costs go up.
This was, of course, totally absurd.
The new version, in stating “proliferation that increases the cost of quality health care in the commonwealth” means only certain services make costs go up, but not all of them. It still leaves the government in charge of deciding who gets new health services and it still doesn’t make any sense economically, but the grammarian and logician in me appreciate the minor shift.