11/24/16 Contact Lens

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If you wear contact lenses you may start replacing them less often.

Here’s what’s happening behind the headlines.

For years, optometrists wouldn’t give a patient his prescription. The patient’s options were to buy lenses from that eye doctor or don’t get any.

That changed in 2004. A new law required the provider to hand-over the prescription. The patient could then buy lenses from that doctor, another doctor, a retailer or online. More competition. More choices. Lower prices.

But Washington is considering gutting the law.

A bill before Congress would presume a prescription is invalid if not verified by the original prescriber. By not responding to a retailer’s request for verification, the eye doctor could make the prescription worthless. Forcing the patient to buy lenses from the original optometrist or an affiliated retailer. Competition goes away. Prices get jacked-up.

The National Association of Optometrists and Opticians opposes the legislation. This group’s members were those who benefited from providing more consumer choices.

Supporting the bill is the American Optometric Association. Its members are the old-school one-stop eye doctors who liked the old way of doing business.

AOA’s PAC gave 5000-dollars to Senator Bill Cassidy [R-LA], who introduced the bill. [h/t Less Government]

Follow Behind the Headlines on Twitter at @BehindTheHead.


Follow Mark on Twitter at @MarkHyman.


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