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Thursday April 24th 2014

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State Lacks Doctors to Meet Demand of National Healthcare Law

healthcarereformSome lawmakers want to fill the gap by redefining who can provide healthcare and are working on proposals that would enable physician assistants, nurse practitioners, optometrists and pharmacists to diagnose, treat and manage some illnesses. They are working on proposals that would allow physician assistants to treat more patients and nurse practitioners to set up independent practices. Pharmacists and optometrists could act as primary care providers, diagnosing and managing some chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and high-blood pressure. As the state moves to expand healthcare coverage to millions of Californians under President Obama’s healthcare law, it faces a major obstacle: There aren’t enough doctors to treat a crush of newly insured patients according to a story in the Los Angeles Times.