Policy recommendations for fighting the COVID-19 virus

By PAUL GUPPY  | 
Apr 15, 2020
POLICY NOTES

Download file Policy recommendations for fighting the COVID-19 virus 


Key Findings 

  1. Washington was the first state hit with COVID-19, so we are in a unique position to learn from this crisis and present effective policy solutions. 

  1. Let doctors and nurses work across state lines.  Lawmakers should repeal licensing restrictions that prevent fully-trained doctors and nurses from helping people in other states. 

  1. Relax restrictive re-certification laws to attract more trained medical professionals. 

  1. Expand scope of practice laws to increase the number of health care providers. 

  1. Repeal Certificate of Need laws that restrict medical supplies and services. 

  1. Expand telemedicine and allow interstate use.  Doctors should be allowed to diagnose and advise patients at a distance, without political barriers. 

  1. Limit malpractice and expand Good Samaritan laws.  Doctors, nurses and members of the public should not fear attracting a lawsuit because they tried to help another person. 

  1. Provide access to affordable health care insurance. 

  1. Maintain a strong private sector in health care services, supplies and medical research. 

  1. Allow homeowners to defer property taxes, lower tax rates and repeal late-payment penalties. 

  1. Help small businesses by suspending B&O taxes and by repealing the new tax on services.  

  1. Protect construction as an essential service, and ensure that public and private workers are treated equally. 

  1. Help small business owners by temporarily suspending B&O taxes, and by repealing the legislature’s recent tax increase on service employers. 

  1. Make sure that broadband internet services are not cut off. 

  1. Give COVID-19 education aid directly to students and families, not to school administrators. 

  1. Allow parents to access the $5,300 per-child in state education funding that remains for the 2019-20 school year. 

  1. Allow the use of clean plastic grocery bags, and repeal the fee on the use of sanitary paper grocery bags. 

 

Introduction 

The first case of COVID-19 disease in the United States, reported on January 19 in Snohomish County, was a man who had returned to Washington state after visiting family in Wuhan, China.  He recovered in the hospital and was sent home.  Tragically, the first reported COVID-19 death in the U.S., announced on February 29th, was a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions linked to the Life Care Center in Kirkland. 

As the earliest state to be hit, Washington is in a unique position to learn from these experiences and present effective policy solutions so we are prepared to reduce or avoid harm now and the next time a public health crisis arises. 

The basic government recommendations to fight the virus – thorough hand washing, stay-at-home practices and social distancing – are well known.  What follows are effective public policies that will not only strengthen our health care infrastructure but will improve economic growth and work opportunities for all Washingtonians. 

Read the full Policy Note using the link below.

Download file Policy recommendations for fighting the COVID-19 virus