News and Commentary
Governor Whitmer of Michigan signed an executive order suspending scope-of-practice laws past the deadline of a prior order. Michigan’s legislature should consider making such changes permanent. Unfortunately, other states are moving in the opposite direction as they reopen licensing exam sites at reduced capacity.
A new article in Forbes discusses scope-of-practice laws in almost two dozen states that unfairly keeps nurse practitioners unable to work in hospitals without supervision or sufficient proximity of physicians. The author Nick Sibilla notes the bipartisan support for cutting back this red tape to allow better and cheaper access to health care services. Of course, pharmacists could also benefit from laxer rules on testing and other services, which would help increase overall testing in the United States.
Vittorio Nastasi writes in Reason on the need to allow physicians across state lines even once the Covid-19 pandemic subsides. Telemedicine and license reciprocity can help alleviate regional healthcare shortages both during this crisis and in the future.
No libertarians in a pandemic? Paul Sherman suggests otherwise at The Atlantic. He points to how the covid-19 crisis has led states to reevaluate occupation licensing rules and certificate-of-need requirements. Licensing reforms should continue well after Covid-19 passes and the healthcare industry is hardly the only one requiring change.
Nicole Narea writes at Vox about the hoops foreign doctors have to jump through to practice in the United States. The medical industry’s hostility to the immigration of such talented workers deserves more of this insightful coverage.
A new whitepaper at Mercatus Center provides an excellent overview of how occupational licensing reform can be put into practice. The authors suggest thoughtful policies such as changes in appeal processes, licensing recognition, and sunsetting laws.
An OECD working paper uses data from the US Census Bureau to exploit variation in licensing requirements across states and observe barriers to job mobility. The paper constructs indicators for both how many jobs are subject to licensing and how strict the licensing is while finding these factors reduce changes between jobs and movement out of unemployment.