In a joint statement to the Illinois Task Force on Health Planning Reform, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that Illinois certificate-of-need (CON) laws undercut consumer choice, stifle innovation and weaken markets' ability to contain health care costs. The announcement was part of an effort by the federal government to promote competition in health care. The agencies focused on Illinois because they believe that CON laws impede the efficient performance of health care markets by creating barriers to entry and expansion to the detriment of health care competition and consumers. They also note that the original reasons for implementation of CON laws (such as cost control) no longer apply in the modern health care environment. Supporters of CON laws argue that without such laws, hospitals tend to build in affluent areas and ignore poorer areas. CON laws continue to be in effect in more than 30 states. Read the joint statement here.