One thing is certain as California heads for a new health insurance era under the Affordable Health Care Act, better known as Obamacare:
Almost all parts of the state will need more medical professionals to serve the additional 2 million to 4 million newly-insured Californians. Should they, could they, mostly be physicians, or should other health care professionals like pharmacists, optometrists and nurse practitioners do some things now in the exclusive realm of MDs?
An optometrist — Democratic state Sen. Ed Hernandez of West Covina — leads the effort to let non-doctors do more.
Would that be good or bad? Try this real-life situation: You need care for distorted vision in one eye. You go first to the local optometrist, someone who now mostly does things like eye exams (sometimes without dilation) and fitting of contact lenses...