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Commentary

Occupational Licensing and Health Spending



Last month the Obama administration released an important report on the harmful effects of occupational licensing. Compiled by experts at the Department of the Treasury, the Council of Economic Advisers, and the Department of Labor, and bearing the imprimatur of the White House itself, the report concludes that:

There is evidence that licensing requirements raise the price of goods and services, restrict employment opportunities, and make it more difficult for workers to take their skills across State lines.

Reducing the burden of licensing would give consumers more choices at lower prices. Nowhere is this need more pressing than in healthcare, where licensing restrictions dominate. According to the report, almost 90 percent of health professionals need licenses to practice.

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John R. Graham is a former Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute.






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