News and Commentary
A new report published at Cato by Alex Nowrasteh and Michelangelo Landgrave assesses the benefits of expanding healthcare worker visas. The authors discuss new bipartisan legislation to repurpose unused visas towards healthcare workers and provide helpful tables with data from the American Community Survey demonstrating the role immigrants play in the healthcare workforce today.
Niskanen’s own Robert Orr has a new article revealing how restrictive American healthcare licensing is compared to European countries. He suggests that occupational licensing in this sector demands more attention given how costly it is for the entry and movement of workers.
Governor Abbott of Texas announced the state will be waiving late fees for renewing licenses in a range of occupations. Hopefully the state can take another step forward to lowering barriers for new licenses being issued in the first place.
A county judge in Arizona recently tossed a lawsuit against a state regulatory board. The engineer pursuing the suit has spent decades providing mechanical and electrical engineering services, yet this experience cannot be recognized by the board due to a requirement that those seeking a license work eight years under another licensed engineer.
A hair salon has reopened in Idaho against a state ordered shutdown. The owner decided to reopen with new sanitary procedures after concluding that unpaid taxes were on par with the risk of getting shut down by authorities. This story highlights the question of local authority in shutdowns and licensing systems more broadly; prior to the salon’s reopening, many of the very authorities charged with enforcing state guidelines were getting haircuts at locations that are not strictly licensed, albeit with authority under essential worker rules.
Michigan’s legislature is considering an expansion of licensing to cover funeral home directors. Jarrett Skorup of Mackinac Center points out there is scant evidence to suggest this will improve public health but reason to think it will benefit incumbents with higher prices instead.