Psychologists, in their questionable bid to gain legal authority to be allowed to prescribe medications across the country, lost for the second year in a row in Hawaii. Despite support from the Hawaii Nurses Association and the endorsement of the Hawaii Medical Service Association (Blue Cross/Blue Shield), which is the largest insurance company in Hawaii, the measure was deferred in committee.
At this rate, it may be another 30 years before psychologists have this ability they’re seeking. If they can’t get the measure passed in smaller states where they have broad-based support from many different components of the healthcare system, their own senators, and such, it doesn’t bode well for their fight in larger, more complex states where the opposition is far better organized.
Does it lower the standard of quality of care in Hawaii? I doubt it — that’s silly hyperbole from people opposed to this initiative. Is it the best solution to the problem facing Hawaii and many other places in America where there is a growing shortage of qualified, experienced psychiatrists? I’m not certain it is, but the alternatives offered have been lukewarm at best. It may be inevitable, but at this rate, it’s a very slow inevitably.