What is the first thing you think of when you hear that the four largest contact lens manufacturers plus the American Optometric Association have created a coalition to influence Congress? Just another day in the life of lobbyists, right? It could be innocent of course. Lots of special interests try to influence congress every day.
Sure, but what if I told you that these big contact lens companies have a history of collusion? Gasp! Shocked face.
Actually, the statistics are so bad that four of the five members of The Coalition for Patient Vision Care Safety have been previously sued by 34 state attorney generals for collusion. They’ve respectively been fined or settled for more than $70 million in financial penalties for attempts to restrain free trade. Okay, bad track record, got it.
So when the Republican Senator from Louisiana, Bill Cassidy presents a bill on their behalf, forgive me if I think Senator Cassidy is playing ball. Having a writer like me question your ethics or even hint at the prospect of out and out collusion may be considered a badge of honor for a US Senator from Louisiana, but to the free market world…it stinks! Senator Cassidy will probably slough off the insinuation at impropriety like water off a ducks back, but that won’t make it any less true.