All too often we’ve seen Washington D.C. politicians write statist legislation to tell us how to live our lives because they think they know better than we do. Such is the case with the first-term Republican Senator from Louisiana, who was a medical doctor before starting his political career, Bill Cassidy. Senator Cassidy introduced a bill last night, on behest of eye doctors, that will limit consumer choices and availability of contact lenses. The bill will allow an eye doctor to declare a prescription invalid or inaccurate and purchase and shipping of contact lenses by the patient will be stopped.
Supporters of the bill claim it will address issues regarding prescription verification and alleged deceptive sales tactics by internet-based sellers of contact lenses. The bill will place a number of restrictions on how prescriptions are communicated from the doctors to contact lens sellers, all of which will only place further limits on customer choices.
One of the restrictions requires that contact lens sellers furnish eye doctors with a “working toll-free number” and an e-mail address for communication. In reality, the problem is usually one of prescribing eye doctors not getting back to the sellers regarding prescriptions. Another restriction in the bill prohibits some types of calls to eye doctors to verify prescriptions, which puts the power in the hands of the doctor to mandate how a seller will communicate with the prescriber. The bill also empower the Federal Trade Commission to harass companies that sell contact lens products. All of these restrictions will only cause limits in consumer choices for contact lens purchases.