Let’s Ditch The Masks And Make These Common-Sense COVID Changes Permanent, Instead: Brooklyn Roberts in The Daily Caller
The end of the Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 provides states with the opportunity to assess possible health care reforms.
ALEC Health and Human Services Task Force Senior Director Brooklyn Roberts authored a guest column in the Daily Caller encouraging states to make some of their temporary healthcare reforms permanent.
The federal government quietly put an end to its Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 earlier this month, following 13 PHE renewals since the initial order was issued in January 2020. The PHE, which outlived the public’s pandemic fears, was used to justify government lockdowns, mask mandates, and more. At the same time, the PHE brought several positive changes in state health care policy. Now that the PHE has come to an end, states should consider moving several temporary reforms to the permanent file.
At the start of the pandemic, states lifted or relaxed telehealth laws through emergency declarations tied directly to the PHE. This allowed patients to receive video consultations, medical data to be stored and forwarded, and remote patient monitoring. Arizona, for example, expanded the limits of telehealth to include audio-only encounters, eliminated in-person requirements for drug prescriptions, and approved the use of store-and-forward technologies. Those changes were soon made permanent when Gov. Ducey signed H.B. 2454. States that embraced similar allowances should follow suit before their temporary telehealth laws revert back to pre-COVID status.