'Eyeball wars' coming to an end as medical-malpractice legislation comes to the Senate floor

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The Senate is expected Tuesday to take up a controversial bill that would place new restrictions on medical-malpractice lawsuits and give new drug-prescribing powers to optometrists, reports the News Service of Florida. The bill (SB 1316) hinges on a compromise between the Florida Medical Association and the Florida Optometric Association, who have long battled about whether optometrists should be able to prescribe oral medications. Trial lawyers and ophthalmologists are fighting the bill — for very different reasons. Trial lawyers don’t like the additional restrictions on malpractice lawsuits, while ophthalmologists argue optometrists shouldn’t be allowed to prescribe more medications.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.