Oct. 14, 2021 / Newspaper Columns

By State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) 

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 500 state regulations were waived and/or suspended to help Pennsylvania residents and state government agencies address the challenges created by the ongoing health crisis.

So, it begs the question: Do we really need all those regulations? A new law was recently enacted that will extend many of those regulatory suspensions for another six months, until March 31, 2022.

Among the regulations addressed in Act 73 are those that aid in meeting the increased demand for health care, including telemedicine which makes it easier to communicate with health care providers. Cutting this government red tape ensured greater access to health care for seniors and families across the Commonwealth, especially in rural areas.

Some of the waivers in place also allow for resumed work for doctors with inactive or expired Pennsylvania licenses otherwise in good standing, thus expanding access to health care providers. Other suspensions ensure hospitals retain flexibility to implement or adapt emergency plans.

Suspended regulations have also allowed pharmacies and clinics to administer doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, greatly expanding access for those who choose to receive it.

The next step is for legislators to assess which of the unnecessary state regulations can be eliminated permanently and which ones may need to be reinstated.

Representative Tarah Toohil
116th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office
RepToohil.com / Facebook.com/RepToohil