July 27, 2020
Though states across the country continue to deal with the many challenges dealt by the coronavirus pandemic, they’re also already thinking about how to get back on track. For state legislators, ensuring that we have a healthcare system that meets Americans’ needs will be at the very top of their recovery wish list.
Earlier this month, Americans for Prosperity released a six-part video series looking at the spate of healthcare reforms that ought to be considered in the wake of this crisis—including telehealth and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reforms. Providing an overview of these imperative reforms, these two-minute videos illustrate the difference these reforms could make in speeding our nation’s recovery from coronavirus.
Reforming the FDA is a good place to start: The agency is notoriously slow and risk-averse, both unfortunate traits when it comes to dealing with this current crisis. “Thinking about the FDA matters more now possibly than ever,” Goldwater Institute Executive Vice President Christina Sandefur explains in the FDA reforms video, because “we’re seeing how the red tape of the past has sort of hampered our ability to be fully prepared to deal with a crisis like COVID-19.” Coronavirus has shown that the FDA’s bureaucratic processes are outdated, and “hopefully what we see coming out of this crisis is a very different FDA”—an agency “focused on empowering patients and empowering doctors to get the right treatments and get those treatments as soon as possible.”
Letting medical professionals practice at the top of their training is also an important lesson from our country’s experience with COVID-19. “There are many professionals trained to do much more than the scope of practice law allows them to do,” says Goldwater Senior Fellow Dr. Jeffrey Singer in a video about scope of practice. “This limits choice and limits access to patients who are trying to consume healthcare…As a doctor, I really want to see that nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other healthcare practitioners could practice to the full extent to which they’re trained.” Fortunately, more than 20 states relaxed their laws around scope of practice during this outbreak to deal with elevated healthcare demand, and those laws should remain after the pandemic is over. (You can check out all the videos in Americans for Prosperity’s series here.)
The Goldwater Institute has been working hard to turn these reform ideas like these into action. Last week, we released a toolkit to help guide state legislators in their pursuit of smart, informed solutions to shape and hasten the nation’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis. The toolkit is our very own roadmap for recovery, providing recommendations and model legislation in the areas of healthcare, education, and the economy.