The United States has once again seen a rise of COVID-19 cases, especially given the surge after the new Delta variant of the virus. Unfortunately, after over a year of learning about this pandemic and attempting to find solutions to it, certain policies are not making the situation any better. 

Granted, mask requirements are becoming less stringent, and the vaccine does appear to aid in the numbers.  However, the healthcare system throughout the country is still swamped with cases.  Just a couple of days ago, the Department of Health and Human Services reported that patients occupy 77.3 percent of all ICU beds, 28 percent of which are comprised of confirmed COVID-19 patients, and this number is growing higher.  Mississippi is not an exception to this. In the same report, it is listed as being at least 90 percent full.

These numbers do represent all cases at hospitals and not just those confirmed with the COVID-19 virus.  However, this does present a problem with the healthcare system as a whole, as it no longer knows how to divide its resources between COVID-19 cases and other medical issues.  As Hannah Cox from the Foundation for Economic Education demonstrates, much of this problem is a result of unnecessary government policy that does nothing but restrict people’s access to the care they need.

For example, the government has instituted a policy referred to as Certificate of Need. In essence, this policy restricts smaller hospitals from adding additional beds and space unless they petition it to a governing board.  The problem is that larger competitors get to come in and virtually push out any opportunity for such hospitals to be granted this request.  As a result, larger competitors stay at the top. Consumers pay more for services and have fewer options for affordable quality healthcare.  Additionally, no wonder hospitals are quickly reaching beyond capacity given that more people need care and there is no opportunity for expansion.  Ironically, many of the states that have these laws are having problems with capacity, and a movement has already begun requiring the reform of these laws.

Another example that has contributed to the potential healthcare backlog is the policy of some hospitals that nurses either get vaccinated or be terminated from employment. Regardless of one’s individual views on the vaccine’s benefits, this sort of treatment of our pandemic heroes has left a bad taste in the healthcare workers’ mouths.  Unfortunately, many healthcare workers are strongly considering leaving.

The situation once again confirms that overreaching policies are not the path to recovery from Covid. A free-thinking people are the ones with the real ability to solve our nation’s problems. The more bureaucrats and legislators that understand that, the better we will be when facing a national crisis.