24 February 2010

Eye Surgery in West Virginia

The state Senate has voted 20-13 to send to the House the bright, shiny object of the 2010 session, a "bill that would change who can perform laser eye surgery and other procedures," The Associated Press reports.

"That a relatively obscure issue could cause the closest vote of the session so far is a testament both to the power of motivated interest groups and what can happen when senators feel the unspoken traditions in their chamber have been violated," writes AP's Tom Breen.

Optometrists seeking the legislation ran up against ophthalmologists and other medical doctors. "The two groups have aired their differences on newspaper opinion pages, on public broadcasting programs and in the halls of the Legislature, where lobbyists for both sides have vigorously pushed their case," AP reports.

The bill was also allowed to bypass the Senate's Health and Human Resources Committee, much to the consternation of its chairman.

Others with coverage include The Charleston Gazette, MetroNews, Public Broadcasting (with audio), the Charleston Daily Mail, and The Register-Herald of Beckley.

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