Coronavirus response reveals many regulations were never necessary to begin with
Those of us who have been fighting for occupational licensing reform and other forms of deregulation have been astonished at how quickly many of the same stubborn, unnecessary regulations we’ve fought against for years have now been paused during this pandemic. To be frank, it has proven that we’ve been right all along.
Dubious concerns about health and safety have long been leveled at professions as benign as hair braiders and florists. However, the accusations that reformers and advocates don’t care about “health” or “safety” because we want to unburden people of needless, cost-intensive licensing requirements have quieted during the current pandemic. Instead, innumerable executive orders across the states have reduced medical regulations, not only to help professionals maintain an income during this economic downturn, but also to expand access to care.
Consider that many nurses and doctors have been fighting for years over “scope of practice” — the duties they may perform and whether nurses’ should be allowed to provide care outside the purview of a physician. The American Medical Association has long voiced concern that it is “dangerous” to allow nurses to practice independently or perform more duties.