A state panel has released nearly two dozen recommendations to deal with the increase in patients expected under the Affordable Care Act. However, some of those ideas will be hard to get approved.
State Public Health Director LaMar Hasbrouck chaired the group to deal with the anticipated shortage of health care providers to handle all the new patients. Some of the ideas include making it easier for veterans and out of state nurses to get certified in health care professions. Others that could be more of a challenge would expand the autonomy of physicians assistants, nurses and dental hygienists. Hasbrouck realizes those ideas often run up against strong lobbying interests of doctors.
"If we really want to be serious about addressing the 1.4 million uninsured in our state and not bump others who are currently insured off the rolls because they can't get an appointment because of the shortage. I think we have to have some very difficult conversations," Hasbrouck said.
While the legislature has approved expanding authority of auxiliary health personnel in the past, the medical lobby is usually quite effective in fending off anything it opposes.