COVID-19 patients were projected to overwhelm hospitals, especially in hot spots like New York.
Democratic and Republican governors responded by finding ways to increase the number of doctors and nurses available to help.
At least 30 states have temporarily rolled back medical licensing and telehealth regulations such as allowing healthcare professionals licensed in other states or countries to practice there.
These reforms make it easier for patients to use telehealth (consulting doctors virtually).
They allow qualified health professionals to take on more tasks (expanding their scope of practice).
They suspend regulations that limit the number of beds at healthcare facilities (Certificate of Need).
And, activate the licenses of retired doctors and allowing recent graduates of medical programs to practice now.
We applaud states for relaxing these regulations during a time of crisis.
Too often occupational licenses don’t protect public health.
Instead, they needlessly limit the supply of vital services and make it harder for people to work.
States should make many of these changes permanent and eliminate all unnecessary occupational regulations and other red tape