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eyeball wars

As Eyeball Wars peak, optometrists seek desperate, last-minute buzzer beater

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After suffering a significant setback last week in the Eyeball Wars, optometrists may be mounting a last-ditch effort to get their bill rolling in the House. When will this bad bill just die? It has long past time to put an end to the Eyeball Wars in 2017, perhaps for good. Last week, HB 1037 stalled in the House Health and Human Services Committee after it had appeared there were not enough votes to pass. The companion bill, SB 1168,…

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Eyeball Wars rage as dozens of medical groups oppose optometrists, claiming ‘serious threat’ to care

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A growing number of medical professionals have joined forces in a wave of disapproval of optometrists in Florida’s “Eyeball Wars,” which is now making way through Tallahassee. HB 1037, which seeks to allow optometrists to perform surgery and prescribe opiates, among other things, now sits on the agenda of the House Health & Human Services Committee. This week, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at University of Miami School of Medicine became the latest medical group to publicly oppose the bill, adding…

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A dangerous consequence of the Eyeball Wars; throwing gasoline on Florida’s wildfire opioid crisis

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It’s no secret that the United States is in the midst of an epidemic of opioid abuse, overdoses and deaths, with Florida emerging as an epicenter. Nevertheless, several Tallahassee lawmakers, albeit unwittingly, may soon contribute to this wildfire of a crisis, a casualty of the latest battle in Florida’s Eyeball Wars. Few can argue the opioid problem has reached epic proportions. The Washington Post is reporting more than 200,000 deaths from opioid overdose between 1999 and 2015. In 2016, nearly…

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New three-part series unpacks ‘dark side’ of money, influence in Florida’s Eyeball Wars

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Florida’s Eyeball Wars rage on in Tallahassee, as optometrists continue pushing a bill allowing them to perform laser surgeries despite a potentially dangerous lack of medical training. Richard Miniter, the chief executive officer of American Media Institute, broke down the issue in-depth with a three-part series co-authored with Joseph Hammond, in which he describes how optometrists have lobbied lawmakers to perform eye surgery in Florida, as well as the pushback from ophthalmologists, who argue that only trained and licensed medical…

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American Medical Association sides against optometrists in Florida Eyeball Wars

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The nation’s largest association of physicians is the latest group to come out against a bill at the center of Florida’s so-called “Eyeball Wars” between ophthalmologists and optometrists. On Thursday, American Medical Association President and CEO James Madara sent a letter to House Health & Human Services Committee chair Travis Cummings, in which he called on lawmakers to reject HB 1037, a measure that seeks give optometrists expanded practice to perform a certain type of laser surgeries in Florida. The…

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Speaker moves ‘Eyeball Wars’ closer to House floor; docs say optometrist testimony ‘patently false’

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Florida’s “Eyeball Wars” between ophthalmologists and optometrists could soon be spilling onto the House floor. On Monday, Speaker Richard Corcoran removed HB 1037 — a controversial bill to allow optometrists to perform surgery, among other things — off the agenda of the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee. A representative for Corcoran told POLITICO Florida that the measure, which seeks to expand optometry further into the practice of surgery, was one of 12 bills removed from Appropriations under Rule 7.18(c) because…

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Ophthalmologists ‘disheartened’ by House advancing bill for optometrists to practice surgery

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Optometrists enjoyed a narrow victory Wednesday in Florida’s renewed Eyeball Wars when a House committee advanced a bill to allow optometrists to perform certain types of eye surgery. After a two-hour hearing, the House Health Quality Subcommittee approved HB 1037, sponsored by Rep. Manny Diaz and opposed by both the Florida Society of Ophthalmology and the American College of Surgeons. Diaz, a Republican from Hialeah, argued the bill gives patients in rural areas better access to eye surgery, as well…

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