Make Licensing Reforms Enacted During the Pandemic Permanent
- All 50 states enacted various temporary executive and regulatory changes to increase the supply of medical professionals, expand telehealth services, and increase capacity at healthcare facilities.
- These changes demonstrate that occupational licensing can be relaxed without harm to the public health / consumers.
- Some pandemic-related actions have expired, and others will soon.
- By making reforms permanent, states can strengthen the responsiveness of their healthcare systems to future emergencies and address shortages of healthcare workers.
Reduce of Eliminate Occupational Licenses
- States vary in their occupational licensing requirements, creating significant challenges for workers who cross state lines to keep their licenses in good standing.
- States should make every effort to eliminate excessive licenses or reduce the onerous requirements for licenses in their jurisdiction.
- States should conduct regular cost-benefit analyses of their licensing systems to determine if they truly serve a public good and remove any licensing requirements that do not.
Consider Alternatives to Occupational Licenses
- Licenses are the heaviest-handed government approach to regulating occupations.
- The National Conference of State Legislatures offers a continuum of regulatory approaches for states from no government action to licensing.
- States should consider private and light-touch government approaches that achieve the same goals, but do not impose insurmountable barriers to opportunity for workers.
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