- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 9, 2016

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association has launched a new statewide ad campaign aimed at defeating legislation it says would put smaller, rural hospitals out of business.

Association spokesman Julian Walker said the TV and radio campaign was “substantial” and running exclusively in rural communities.

Some Republican lawmakers and tea party groups are pushing legislation that would curtail much of the certificate of public need program, which requires government approval for new or expanded health care facilities. They say the current system is uncompetitive and results in higher health care prices.

The GOP-controlled House is scheduled to vote on the measure in coming days.

Hospitals argue they don’t operate in a free-market system and need certificate of public need laws to remain economically viable.

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