I may be jinxing myself – but my aging eyes remain pretty good. <Knocks on wood.> So I can, with my untrammeled sight, spot the ridiculous cronyism that abounds all around the ridiculous city that is Washington, D.C.
Including when that cronyism adversely affects the contact lens market. I don’t have to use a product – to like a free, fair and open market for it. A market which DC actually opened up a bit in 2004 – and which cronies are now looking to slam back shut.
And these cronies are looking to do it in a lame duck Congressional session – which is itself a problem. Lame duck sessions – are lame. Legislators who just lost their gigs – should stop legislating. Because We the People just voted to have them stop legislating.
Who are the Contact Cronies? And what are the Contact Cronies looking to have Lame Duck DC do?
The Cronies are a cabal of optometrists and contact lenses manufacturers who want to regain their lens sale monopoly. Which means they want a lame duck law – that undoes the good work Congress did in 2004.
That 2004 law allowed patients to get their lenses from someone besides their doctor. They could take their prescriptions to any lens provider they wished. The law forced doctors to provide patients their prescriptions – because until then your doctor wouldn’t give it to you. That way you had to purchase your contacts from him or her.
Shocker – after the law passed, providers abounded and prices fell dramatically. But the Contact Cronies were cut out of their monopolistic loop. And now they are angling to have DC re-restrict the market – to reinstate their sweetheart deal.
In fact, the 2004 law didn’t de-monopoly enough. It maintained the antiquated mandate that patients get updated prescriptions prior to purchasing new lenses. It’s 2016 – technology has rendered this long obsolete. There are even apps that check your vision.
In fact – what happens when government allows you to get lenses bereft of any prescription whatsoever? Let’s ask Europe and Japan. They don’t require a scrip – and they have even less problems than do we.
Heck, DC still mandates that you get your lenses from doctors – which, again, technology has rendered ridiculous.
DC should pass something – a bill to get rid of these remaining mandates and really open the contact lens market.
Not a bill that goes back in time to recreate a monopoly – of which we are happily rid.
We, as always, need less government involvement – not more.
This first appeared in Independent Journal Review and Red State.