Stossel: Government Bans Ambulance Competition


you’re going to tell me that I’m not fit to
work in your town? Phillip Truesdell and his daughter Hannah
Howe run Legacy non-emergency ambulance service in Ohio they take patients places for treatment, move people from hospital to hospital take people to doctor’s appointments. I started a business with one truck, and in
a year I went to six trucks in the state of Ohio. But when they tried to expand to Kentucky,
just a few minutes away across that river… they were told, “you may not pick up patients here” I can take them, and I drop them off and I
can’t go back and get them. People waiting hours for medical transportation. Kentucky’s government says a “public health
crisis exists” citing a report that found “… a shortage of ambulance providers.” When six-year-old Kyler Truesdell fell of
his motorcycle, his mother says The doctor at the local hospital in Maysville told her that
he should be transported to Cincinnati children’s to check for internal injuries. we’d be about a 2 hour
wait before they could get there. Kyler happens to be Hannah’s cousin, but
Kyler still had to wait two hours for an ambulance. We would’ve done it for free, but it would’ve
been illegal so we couldn’t do it. It’s illegal because of CON laws. in Kentucky and 3 other states, you have to
get something called a Certificate of Need to run an ambulance service. Certificates are awarded only to businesses
that the state’s bureaucrats deem necessary. So you applied for one? We did. After 11 months of waiting, they discovered
that their application was being protested by existing ambulance providers. we go to court, and these three ambulance
services show up They hammered her. Treated her like she was a criminal. What do you mean hammered her? They just, “Do you know what you’re going
to do to this company?… …Do you know what you’re going to do to this
town?” It wasn’t nothing to do with us being physically
able to do it. Just came through like the big dog not trying
to let anybody else on the porch. later they learned Four ambulance companies applied for permission. How many got it? None. That didn’t seem right to Phillip Anybody that draws breath ought to be allowed
to work. Who gives the big man the right to say, “You
can’t work here?” The government. The law. Kentucky ought to change that law. He and his daughter were lucky to find the
Pacific Legal Foundation, a law firm that fights for people’s right to earn a living. 46 States operate without certificate of need
laws Lawyer Anastasia Boden filed the suit with
“The goal … [of restoring] the Constitution’s promise of … economic freedom” “This prevents a proliferation of unnecessary ambulance services.” Traditionally we allow the consumers to decide
what’s necessary. The existing operators are never going to
say that more businesses are necessary because they don’t like the competition. None of those ambulance providers would talk to us But one did send us a statement that says, “…saturating a community with more EMS agencies than it can … support … … [leads] all agencies to become watered down.” “We can’t have too much competition because
businesses will start cutting corners.” And that’s just absurd. We now recognize that competition leads to
efficient outcomes. not in states with CON laws, where patients
…wait. Those are precious minutes to the consumers
who would benefit from ambulances. Not just ambulances, 35 states have con laws
for things like medical imaging companies, hospitals, even moving companies. Once you get these laws on the books, it’s
very hard to get them off because the monopolies like their monopoly. This all started back in the 70s with the
federal government in an attempt to keep prices down and to expand service. But what they found 10 years later was that
certificate of need laws were resulting in exactly the opposite. The Feds actually learned a lesson from their
mistake and said, “Whoops, this is bad. Let’s get rid of these.” But by that time, the damage was done, the
laws were on the books, and now it’s too hard to get them off. So you sue. We sue. They’ve taken 14 cases of government overreach
to the supreme court. They won 12. it is an abuse of government power to restrict
somebody’s right to earn a living just as a handout to the other businesses. It’s not a handout. It’s protecting a vital service. It’s protecting a vital service for the current
operators only. Your local hospital could close! In Virginia, when politicians tried to repeal
their state’s hospital CON law, the established hospitals “… poured more
than $200,000 into [ads] …” like this. the general assembly is voting on legislation
that will financially ruin your local hospital We don’t see that in other States without
CON laws. We see hospitals alive and well Call your legislator now. But in Virginia, the ad campaign worked. The state still has con laws. They like these laws, they keep the competition
out, and they’re going to fight to keep these laws on the books. People think of hospitals and medical issues
as different from regular competition. It’s just more important. If it’s more important than it’s exactly the
place where we need more competition because competition has been the driving force of
innovation, lower prices and better services. Everywhere! Competition works! CON laws are a bad deal
for both consumers and entrepreneurs. No one should have to ask permission to compete. Who gives them the right to say that you can’t
start a business?




Comments
  1. Ew BLS

    First of all they shouldn’t be classified as ambulance services since all they do is non emergency medical transport.

    And 911 EMS should be run exclusively through government agencies, just like the fire department and police department.

    The more libertarian reason is because (unlike non-emergency transports) a person in an emergency situation will have no choice but to choose the city/county favoured company to take them to the hospital and bill them. There is no consumer choice bc there can be no consumer choice and these private companies bet on that. It’s basically a government permitted monopoly. AMR is the worst about this.

  2. The fuck does competition work. Drug prices are not high because competition works. What ALWAYS happens is one company gets bigger and bigger and crushes all rival companies. There are cases where profit should NOT be the primary motive, and this is one of them. I can see strong arguments on both sides, but competition is NOT a strong argument.

  3. Lol, Stossel takes a stronger stand on ambulance competition than the CIA-backed Syrian war that killed half a million people. Corporate libertarians are so ridiculous.

  4. IDK why (cuz my country is not rich) but in my country has indeed ambulance competition and they ask you between 15 and 30$. It could increase if you want to travel outside the city

  5. walmart is the culmination of competition gone mad. so who gets the walmart ambulance service? just like who gets the walmart doctor or walmart heart surgeon? capitalism is a perfect model for most commercial ventures. but not every service should have as its guiding principal the profit motive. at some point companies will just say theres not enough in it for us to provide services. we will either cut quality or refuse service outright . people talk about 2 tier service but what you will get is a separate tier for every income bracket. emergency services should be provided equally for all

  6. Competition is how we could really bring down medical costs, unfortunately there are many laws which prevent this from happening.

  7. Great video. As a Virginia resident, Certificate of Need laws have been on my mind for years and I would love to see them repealed here one day.

  8. Just claim you're a religious organization and offer a specific service to followers of "Fukgubmint". Watch the government squirm as it tiptoes between denying Jewish ambulances and their own bureaucratic tendencies.

  9. This is because hommie sec is working with fe ma. They took me to experiment on me – non-consensual. Chi pd me head to foot. Some of the ambulance drivers are actually hired assassins. /hearing others tell me (people I know) the drivers have killed ppl and even tortured denied care by just taking them to mental wards

  10. What if the current local grocery stores had CON laws. Let’s vote, do we need another grocery? Or, existing hardware stores decide. Do we need another hardware store in OUR town? We own OUR town.

    Existing restaurants vote, "Do we need another restaurant in this town?" Duh…..

    CON laws are a primary reason why medical costs have soared since these laws were first initiated.

  11. Michigan's CON Laws prevents Tesla from selling cars online in Michigan. They can however operate brick & mortar retail outlets that act like traditional car dealerships. They have such a retail outlet inside of Somerset Mall in Troy Michigan. How many traditional car dealerships have you ever seen inside of an enclosed upscale Mall?

    Traditional car dealerships in Michigan under the auspices of the NADA fought Tesla's entry into the automotive market.

    Michigan is also considering implementing a licensing scheme for low voltage workers. Right now there is no requirement for licensure for low voltage contractors like myself. This highly skilled labor market requires lots of knowledge in related fields like IT. But state licensure would increase the operating costs of running such a business which would be passed on to our customers (95% of which are other businesses). The ripple – or knock on effect – would be huge and increase the costs of doing business in our state.

    The Information Technology/low voltage market in the Midwest is one of the most competitive labor markets in the country. I operate my business as a sole proprietorship yet I count many global companies as repeat customers. You don't get that if you don't know what you're doing or if your work is subpar. Phillips Automotive lighting was a customer of mine before it was spun off as Lumileds. Lumileds is still a customer of mine after the spin off. Facebook is also a repeat customer of mine. Sometimes my paychecks for jobs completed comes from Germany or Canada or California even though all of the physical work is done in Michigan. That's just how the gig economy works.

    Instituting licensure requirements is firstly, unnecessary in such a competitive environment. Secondly, it's viewed as a thinly veiled money grab by Lansing. And lastly, it would introduce arbitrary barriers to market entry which stifles competition and creativity both of which increases costs to consumers.

    I have even been hired to do work that the telecommunications majors wouldn't even consider doing! I have relocated entire main phone rooms in commercial buildings that were refused by both Verizon and AT&T! Yes, I moved other companies property without their permission but commerce waits for no one!

  12. Do you know how much an ambulance ride to the hospital costs….hell yes bring in the competition you vultures need to be " watered down ". After a natural disaster the guy walking around selling bottles of water for $100 each is exactly what the ambulance companies are doing.

  13. I live in a community that has two hospitals. We have stellar Healthcare with this stiff competition. I felt like I was at a spa instead of a hospital when I had my hip surgery. Amazing, and the prices are kept lower too.

  14. These aren't ambulances. These are taxis charging for medical services. I've got no pity for these pork barrel swine.

  15. 2:36 describes the crux of many Socialist arguments. So often they argue that "We do not need a hundred types of deodorant" or "50 brands of shoes each with 50 styles" (And yes I am paraphrasing Bernie Sanders here). Well, the basis of a free market is that if there is a need, or what is also called a demand, people will buy the product, and subsequently people will make the product. If there is no need, or no demand, then people will stop buying it, and subsequently people will stop making it. Capitalism, while certainly not perfect, often has a way of sorting itself out as to what is needed, and what is not.

  16. This is completely disgusting! And we, somehow ALLOW this is OUR America! Time to restore OUR RIGHTS! Revolting!
    Patients rights matter! State run monopolies are UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

  17. How the F do you water down amber lamps services? All kidding aside, WTF does that even mean? The only thing gov is good at is screwing up.

  18. Ron and Rand have been screaming about this for decades …literally! Unfortunately, a small number of citizens in office, can't win against the establishment politicians in office.

  19. In most cases, it would be cheaper, faster, and pose less of a health risk to take an UBER to the hospital and pay the driver for cleanup of any blood.

  20. There's a benefit to CON laws: many of these services have very high fixed costs, so multiple services are combined and served. Think of a hospital: the hospital needs to be able to afford to stay open, so it needs to sell MRI, X-ray, and other services. If another service opens selling only MRI, and MRI is in high demand, the hospital could go out of business.and that would put people in danger . CON laws do have disadvantages but they sometimes protect communities long term well being.

  21. I’m very familiar with how KY works. I’ve worked in the highway construction industry in eastern Ky and if you want to succeed you have to provide kickbacks to the right politicians.

  22. Ambulance and tow truck companies are the most crooked, criminal businesses there are. Getting rich taking advantage of folks during their worst time. Unless Im bleeding out, if I need an ambulance I'm calling Uber. Probably be here faster and won't change me $4500 for a 2 mile trip. That type of abuse goes beyond capitalism, like selling $20 bottles of water to hurricane victims, it should be illegal.

  23. We need to re-define the word "monopoly" at the FEC to include, any business in any industry that government limits the number of entities competing in. Also, we should have legislation that includes, "Any company lobbying for legislation that would limit the number of participants in any market, shall be charged with violating antitrust laws regarding monopolistic behavior"

  24. Here's the thing, because of competition, oversaturation of transport services, you should NEVER trust any medical test results from a Lab or Hospital that uses a Courier Company. These labs and hospitals will hire the cheapest courier that they can find even if that company doesn't have the proper equipment to transport (Frozen, Refrigerated, or Ambient) samples. Your test results depend on how they are transported, any variation, rise or drop in temperature will ruin the end result.

  25. This is one of the million reasons healthcare costs are astronomical in the US. Regulate every aspect of the market so competition disappears and everyone left can raise their prices through the roof.

  26. "I don't understand why health care is so expensive but I can get a computer a million times more powerful than a computer 10 yesterday ago that's 10 times cheaper." Seriously this is what Bill Maher said a few weeks ago.

  27. 5:30 "Who gives them the right to say that you can't start a business?" Without knowing Mr. Truesdell, I'm just going to assume he's the average american and say: you give them that right, you do. Every regulation, every tax, every tariff and every import quota on the books that restricts another persons freedom, but which happens to not effect you directly and which you advocate for, is how these laws come about. It just so happens that this one effects you directly and now there's an outrage. I recall a documentary where impoverished Venezuelans who voted for Chavez were not happy with the outcome but did not connect the dots an still thought he was a great man. My sympathy is very limited.

  28. Given that emergency services tend to take the best part of an hour to get to the scene of an emergency, competition is a good thing. Whenever the government monopolizes something, it goes down the drain!

  29. cronyism the antithesis of capitalism. The opposite of freedom. It's what stifles the free market and makes everything more expensive and crappier.

  30. "Certificates of Needs" that's mthe most German sounding regulation I've heard in the US for a long time, because literally half of everything one wants to buy or do in Germany requires a certificate of needs. xD

  31. The emergency room in rural America have the same problem. I know one emergency where the waited 5 hours for an ambulance out. Sad but true.

  32. The intention of Libertarians is correct, but the blame is misplaced. The tragic logical flaw in the Libertarian philosophy is that they see "the government" as the problem, when in reality it's the private for profit companies (lobbyist) that influence the politicians (government) to create laws that favor said private for profit companies!

  33. Dallas has a problem with 3 helicopters showing up to accident scenes when an ambulance could do the job. They drag people into the choppers without them knowing the bill will be $200,000.

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