Sunday, August 30, 2020

Tennessee can lead the nation in innovation freedom

Justin Owen
by Guest columnist Justin Owen, The Tennessean- We have witnessed many unprecedented moments over the past few months. And most of the news has been grim. But as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic, a silver lining is appearing on the edge of the dark clouds. We are witnessing some of the most rapid and exciting improvements in innovation in the history of the world. 

Take telehealth for example. During the first month of the pandemic, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee reported that it had managed 18 times more telehealth claims than a year before. ... State lawmakers even recently returned to Nashville for a special session to make permanent many of the telehealth changes made by Gov. Bill Lee in his executive orders. ...

We should also build upon our existing framework that makes it easier to test new products in our state. For example, Amazon recently chose Franklin as one of just two southern cities to test its new delivery robots. 

Overregulated states chase away creativity. ... There’s no reason those innovators shouldn’t set up shop and bring their products to market in Tennessee and hire Tennesseans. (Read the full article at this link and view a 20 minute interview with Justin Owen exploring this topic.) 

Justin Owen is president and CEO of the Beacon Center of Tennessee.

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