By Timothy Bonis
Although three in four doctors support scrapping state medical boards in favor of a single federal license, such sweeping reform is likely far off. It is not just state boards’ political obstructionism standing in the way. Basic constitutional federalism limits Congress’s ability to assume powers traditionally held by the states, leaving medical licensure (a state matter since its 19th-century inception) difficult to federalize.
This post will explore potential constitutional arguments for and against federal licensure, investigate the constitutionality of more moderate legislative approaches, and speculate on how the late Roberts Court might respond to reform attempts.