Sunshine State News is teaming up with the American Media Institute to present a series of articles looking at one of the most contentious issues facing the Florida Legislature.
When the legislative session opened in Tallahassee earlier this month, lawmakers and lobbyists were surprised by an under-the-radar, epic battle over eye surgery.
A series of bills authorizing optometrists, who are not medical doctors, to perform such surgery have ignited the latest round of what critics call “the eyeball war” in Florida. On one side are optometrists who claim they are capable of performing many common procedures. On the other side are ophthalmologists, who insist that such surgery should be done only by trained and licensed medical doctors. Billions of dollars in fees are at stake in this battle, which echoes similar disputes across the country. There is also a political dimension because one of the top lobbyists for the legislation, Michael Corcoran, is the brother of Florida Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes.
Richard Miniter and Joseph Hammond from the American Media Institute will cover this story in a series of articles on this page starting Monday and running through Wednesday.
Richard Miniter is the CEO of the American Media Institute. He is an award-winning investigative journalist and best-selling author. He writes as a national security contributor on Forbes.com, was editorial page writer for The Wall Street Journal Europe and was a member of the famed investigative team of The Sunday Times of London. As vice president of The Washington Times, Miniter turned around an ailing division and managed a team of 17 journalists. He is the author of a number of New York Times bestselling books: "Losing bin Laden," "Shadow War," "Mastermind" and "Leading From Behind." Miniter has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Atlantic Monthly, Newsweek, Forbes, New Republic, National Review and others. He appears regularly on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and hundreds of radio programs.
Joseph Hammond is a journalist at American Media Institute. He began his career as a sports writer covering boxing, and later turned to international journalism. Hammond was the Cairo correspondent for Radio Free Europe during the Arab Spring. He has reported from four continents on issues ranging from energy to the Arab Spring to the M23 rebellion in the Eastern Congo. He was a Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy fellow with the government of Malawi; he is an alumni member of the Atlantic Council’s ELEEP program; and is an alum of the Penn Kemble Forum at the National Endowment of Democracy. He is a native of Long Beach, Calif.
Sunshine State News is proud to work with the American Media Institute and these distinguished journalists on this important series of articles.