The COVID-19 pandemic made state and federal lawmakers acutely aware of how state‐based regulation of clinicians contributes to the overall shortage of health care providers and obstructs their rapid response to public health emergencies. Governors tacitly acknowledged this when they issued executive actions temporarily suspending most of these regulations. Policymakers should learn from this. States should reform health care practitioner licensing laws to allow providers to move more quickly to areas where they are needed, which will allow patients better access to health care. State medical licensing laws block a large pool of experienced and motivated health care practitioners from other countries who are eager to come to America and provide health care.