This is an older article but one that bears highlighting. In State Considers Changing Non-Physicians Scope of Practice:
- California lawmakers are considering expanding the scope of practice for non-physicians in an effort to address a shortage of doctors to treat individuals who will gain health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
- Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) — chair of the Senate Health Committee — plans to offer legislation that would allow physician assistants to treat more patients and nurse practitioners to establish independent practices. It also would allow pharmacists and optometrists to act as primary care providers and diagnose and manage certain chronic conditions. Hernandez questioned what good expanding health care coverage is if patients “are going to have a health insurance card but no access to doctors.”
I am not going to beat the same dead horse about my feelings on competing (instead of collaborating) with midlevels. The point here in this piece is how politicians can use information and spin it any way they want. The fact that Hernandez, a democrat who I guarantee pushed for Obamacare, now questions what good is it if there are no access to doctors? Are you kidding me? Unfortunately, Mr. Hernandez, life is not like the movie Field of Dreams. You know, build it and they will come. But, I believe he knew this all along. And the goal was to expand the scope of midlevels all along. And the AMA and AAFP and many of us doctors were suckers to believe otherwise.