Keeping Red Tape Cut


Various politicians are receiving praise for using their executive power to waive or otherwise ignore laws and regulations that are getting in the way of an effective response to the Wuhan virus pandemic. Now, some of those laws and regulations might make sense in normal times but might be unnecessary in the current unusual circumstances. For example, New York City has waived restrictions on e-scooters. They are useful in delivering carry-out food orders, and they’re less of a hazard in the current very light traffic. It may be that sort of regulation should come back eventually.

OTOH, Texas has insurance regulations which prevent physicians from being paid the same fee for a telemedicine consultation with a patient than for a face-to-face examination. That regulation is now being waived, and it’s the sort of regulation that should be throughly scrutinized before it is reimposed after the pandemic crisis.

Each law and regulation that has been suspended in order to promote public safety during the Wuhan virus response should be careful reexamined. Some may be worth restoring, but others, I’ll bet most, never had anything to do with public safety. At best, they were the result of nanny state busybodies bullying the public. Often, they were the result of rent-seeking by favored businesses and individuals, In many cases, they provided opportunities for graft. They should not come back.