Optometrists won a pitched and expensive (judging by lobbyist effort) battle against ophthalmologists today. The Senate
The vote was 25-8, with two not voting. Opposition speeches came from the wives of two medical doctors, Sen. Cecile
Wallace and others pitched the bill as providing greater access to services not readily available from a smaller number of ophthalmologists and one senator complained of the multiple trips he had to make to see a medical doctor for surgery for his father. Wallace emphasized that the bill wouldn’t prevent patients from seeking an
The bill earlier passed with 70 votes in the House.
Debate highlight: Wallace
These procedures are specified in the bill. One senator noted that rules implementing this change still must pass legislative review.
(i) Injections, excluding intravenous or intraocular injections;
(ii) Incision and curettage of a chalazion;
(iii) Removal and biopsy of skin lesions with low risk of malignancy, excluding lesions involving the lid margin or nasal to the puncta;
(iv) Laser capsulotomy; and
(v) Laser trabeculoplasty.
Irvin asked senators if they’d entrust their children to an optometrist for such sensitive procedures. She said she wouldn’t. I nodded. Having been born with one eye, I’m not ready to have any surgery on the one I was born with, but it isn’t likely to be an optometrist should that day arrive.
Wallace disputed the argument against lacking