The Wisconsin Legislature and Governor Evers worked together this spring to pass a bipartisan COVID-19 response package that included several policy reforms recommended by the Wisconsin Free Market Coalition. These reforms provided necessary, temporary relief from regulatory barriers so the health care community could quickly and responsibly respond to Wisconsinites’ medical needs during the unprecedented pandemic.
Unfortunately, though, the relief provided by this legislation was temporary, leaving the healthcare industry facing renewed regulatory barriers while still trying to care for patients across the state. The Legislature and Governor should extend the regulatory and licensing relief provided by Act 185 to become permanent. Healthcare providers have consistently shown since the passage of Act 185 that they can provide the needed and quality care expected by Wisconsin’s patients in ways that enhance public health and safety.
The Wisconsin Free Market Coalition calls on the Legislature and Governor Evers to permanently extend the following policies previously recommended by the Coalition and included in Act 185:
- Universal recognition of health care providers with a valid and current license issued by another state to practice in Wisconsin.
- Allowance of temporary licenses to remain valid for 30 days after the conclusion of future public health emergency declarations.
- Expediting license renewal for retired medical professionals and those with a recently expired license.
- Extended refill periods for prescription drugs.
Adopting these reforms on a permanent basis will allow continued care and innovation in healthcare, ensuring Wisconsin is positioned to best respond to future public health emergencies. The last few months have demonstrated that many of the state’s cumbersome licensing rules are unnecessary, even unproductive. Wisconsin must ensure that our state and economy are prepared to respond to any and all future health needs of Wisconsinites – these reforms are a needed first step in achieving this goal.