COVID-19 vaccines have finally been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but at a time when Americans need these vaccines more than ever, they are being administered at a frustratingly sluggish pace. But a solution to this problem may be found at your local pharmacy.

This week at In Defense of Liberty, Goldwater Institute Director of Healthcare Policy Naomi Lopez writes that freeing pharmacists to administer vaccines may help counteract the slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. During the pandemic, several states have taken needed steps to temporarily let more medical professionals practice at the top of their training and help more patients in need. But Lopez writes that states “should go a step further and evaluate whether there are opportunities to permanently expand pharmacist scope of practice in order to further facilitate vaccines, both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19.”

“Medical professionals should be allowed to practice at the top of their education and training all the time—not just during emergencies,” Lopez writes. “COVID-19 has driven many states to empower more medical professionals to help more patients—but if it’s good for a pandemic, it should be good for all times.” You can read more from Lopez here.

Rent Out of Control

Government rent control policies are supposed to reduce rental costs and help lower-income Americans find housing they can afford. But a new Goldwater Institute report analyzing rent control in California cities shows that these policies haven’t made housing more affordable and, in fact, harm the very people rent control is intended to help.

In his new report Rent out of Control: Government Is Not the Answer to the Affordable Housing Problem, former Goldwater Institute policy analyst Trevor Bratton examines the difference in the rental unit supply in more than 100 California cities with and without rent control regulations between 2010 and 2018. The report’s findings paint a picture of scarce supply and increasing unaffordability in many places.

Instead of pursuing rent control policies, which don’t work, government should undo the bad policies it put into place that caused housing unaffordability in the first place. And there are indeed reforms that can fix the problems government has caused—Goldwater reforms like the Permit Freedom Act and the Property Ownership Fairness Act.

Read more in Bratton’s full report here.

Goldwater to Supreme Court: No Agencies without Accountability

Administrative agencies have extraordinary power to make and enforce laws, often with few constitutional constraints. Not only do they violate the constitutional principle of separation of powers, but these agencies are not subject to the rules of evidence and procedure that apply in legal courts. And rules of “deference” also limit judges’ ability to enforce legal limits on these agencies. The result is lawmaking without either democratic accountability or meaningful constitutional control.

That problem is at the forefront of a case the Goldwater Institute has now asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take. The case involves Washington State property owners who opposed a bureaucratic decision to limit their rights to use their land. The owners argued that the rules the agency was considering were so restrictive that they essentially confiscated the property—and therefore, that the rules violated the Fifth Amendment’s prohibition on taking of private property.

Goldwater Institute Vice President for Litigation Timothy Sandefur writes at In Defense of Liberty that the more power administrative agencies have, “the more responsibility and accountability they should have, too. We’re urging the Supreme Court to take up this case and make clear that agencies cannot be above the law.” Read more from Sandefur about the case here.

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