COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A bill that would remove the need for South Carolina hospitals to seek state permission to build new facilities, make expansions or buy expensive equipment is dead for this year’s legislative session.

The House Ways and Means Committee decided not to send the bill eliminating the certificate of need program to the House floor on Thursday.

Leaders say they couldn’t get each side of the issue to come together and compromise.

Supporters of the bill say the program goes against the free market, requiring hospitals and health care companies to get state permission to build or expand hospitals or to buy expensive equipment like MRI machines.

Opponents say it protects health care in rural areas and can prevent hospitals from overspending because of competition.