Fixing the doctor shortage requires less government, not more
Congress is looking to narrow our nation’s doctor shortage. After introducing legislation that would reform our primary care system, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said last month , “Tens of millions of Americans live in communities where they cannot find a doctor while others have to wait months to be seen.”
The Vermont socialist is right. Too many people do struggle to find a doctor. But his preferred solution — spending tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to recruit and train more providers, among other things — is wasteful. Instead, policymakers should focus on relaxing regulations that needlessly limit the supply of care.
Consider scope-of-practice laws . In many states, these regulations prohibit nurse practitioners and physician assistants from practicing without the oversight of a physician or performing certain services, even if they’re trained to do so.Read More