The Beacon Center of Tennessee released a set of 20 policy solutions focused on what policies the state should and shouldn’t enact moving forward when it deals with COVID-19.
The center made the announcement here.
The suggestions, listed here, relate to both public health and the economy.
For health, suggestions include some ways to increase the number of medical professionals, expand access to healthcare, and give lower-income residents who are on Medicaid the ability to use telemedicine as an option.
For the economy, the ideas suggest allowing professionals with mandatory health and sanitation training to see clients in their homes, use the state’s rainy day fund when it is appropriate and give businesses the option to stay open by not putting out a blanket statewide shutdown order.
Ron Shultis, director of policy and research, wrote:
The General Assembly, in dramatic fashion, slashed nearly a billion dollars and passed a tornado and COVID-19 response-focused budget before recessing on March 19th. Since then, Governor Bill Lee has issued several executive orders to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic here in Tennessee. But what else could be done? Now more than ever, sound public policy that empowers free enterprise and encourages innovation is needed to fight this virus and limit its economic fallout.
COVID-19 is a threat to both the health of citizens and the ability of Tennesseans to put food on the table for their families, Justin Owen, the center’s president and chief executive officer, wrote.
Because of these competing interests, we need a balanced approached when dealing with this pandemic. In times like these, sensible solutions are needed more than ever. We can both protect public health in the short-run, while ensuring that Tennesseans have a job to go back to when all this is over. These solutions do just that.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Photo “Ron Shultis” by Beacon Center of Tennessee. Background Photo “Tennessee General Assembly” by Tennessee General Assembly.