David Freddoso of the Washington Examiner reveals how the monopolies that states enjoy over licensing doctors, nurses, and other clinicians reduce access to care for low-income Americans:
Stan Brock just wants to help. The former co-star of “Wild Kingdom” wants to deliver free medical, dental and vision care to the poor. Whereas most politicians talk about “bending the cost curve” in health care, Brock simply wants to break it - to provide care free of charge, at the hands of unpaid volunteer doctors and dentists using donated equipment.
Brock’s group, Remote Area Medical, wants to bring its services to Washington, and soon. He wants his volunteer eye doctors to grind new glasses on the spot for those having trouble seeing.
He wants his dentists to pull rotten teeth and perform root canals in badly neglected mouths. He wants to give checkups and HIV tests to the uninsured and the underinsured. No questions asked.
The only question is whether the bureaucrats will let him do it.
That sounds like hyperbole. It’s not. Read the whole thing (it’s short) and you’ll learn how in-state clinicians shamelessly use monopolistic licensing laws to protect themselves from competition – even at the cost of denying medical care to poor people.
Yesterday, Cato released a study where I advocate breaking up the state’s licensing monopolies and making state-issued licenses portable. Such a law would completely solve Remote Area Medical’s problem.
This Cato study by economist Shirley Svorny reveals how clinician licensing laws do more harm than good.