Cutting red tape or endangering people? House wants to deregulate nurse practitioners, massage therapists, optometrists | Mississippi Today

Cutting red tape or endangering people? House wants to deregulate nurse practitioners, massage therapists, optometrists | Mississippi Today

With measures aimed at cutting red tape and bureaucracy, the state House this week moved to strip or lessen oversight and regulations for nurse practitioners, optometrists, massage therapists, wigologists and others.

“The Mississippi House had a historic day, passing four significant regulatory reforms to improve the state’s work environment and expand access to quality healthcare at a price people can afford,” said Russ Latino, president of Empower Mississippi, one of the groups pushing for the deregulation.

Many people and groups have for years complained Mississippi is awash in regulatory rules, licensing fees and oversight boards that stifle access to services and competition and end up driving up costs of services.

But opponents warn that some of the deregulation could harm patients or consumers.

The measures now head to the Senate, which also has some mirror legislation to the House bills. Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, who presides over the Senate, said he is “conceptually in agreement” with cutting “regulatory burdens,” and expects such measures to get a full hearing in the Senate.

The bills passed this week include:

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