• Crony Capitalism Is Rocking It In The Contact Lens Industry

    COMMENTARY by Steve Sherman

    As if it’s not bad enough that you drew the DNA short straw and can’t see without correction, now the government, the eye doctors, and the contact lens manufacturers are frolicking in bed together at your expense.

    The contact lens industry is a “rigged game”.

    Where else in health care can you prescribe a product you sell to a patient at your mercy? Nowhere else of course.

    Where else can manufacturers of a product set up cozy relationships with doctors to shut out competition and enrich each other the most? Again…nowhere.

    Where else can you get a willing accomplice found in a US Senator to do your bidding and draft legislation to keep the salacious relationship going? Don’t answer that.

    We’ve got trouble…right here in River City. If you have bad eyes it may be a blessing so you don’t see all the collusion going on between the most powerful companies and politicians in the world all to defraud you of your hard earned cash. If you have bad eyes you are a captive customer. You have to have the product. It’s not a choice. It says corrective lenses on your government issued driver’s license.

    It would be nice if you could log onto the internet and order yourself some contacts no questions asked, wouldn’t it? Yes, it would, but that doesn’t allow all the right people to profit. Get with the program, you are here to pay for much more than soft contacts…you must support good old fashioned graft.

    Here’s the scoop. The major manufacturers of contact lenses have formed a coalition with the American Optometrist Association, called Hydra. Sorry, just kidding. It is actually called the Coalition of Patient Vision Care Safety. Sounds nice, huh? Well it’s not. They have formed a cabal to control the price and access to the entire contact lens industry, it should be called, The Coalition To Take Advantage of The Blurry Eyed.

    My ancestor who wrote the Sherman Anti-trust laws is rolling over about this, for sure.

    The coalition has also climbed into bed with their ugly cousin, the government. The interbreeding stems from Republican Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy. Yes…a Republican masquerading as a free marketer while increasing the size and scope of government. He recently put forth legislation to keep the good times rolling for everyone involved, other than the person with bad eyesight. His bill deceptively named, The Contact Lens Health Protection Act of 2016.

    This bill has nothing to do with your health and even less to do with contact lenses. It’s all about the money. This little legislative gem increases paperwork to levels almost unattainable by most online sellers. It then adds some stiff fines for anyone who violates all the new regulations. Then it goes on to enact a “Study” to be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission against any seller who might be in breach of the Act. The “Study” is a weapon to be used to control any seller not playing ball. Goodbye competition, who’d want to be in this industry?

    The Act also increases the power of the eye doctors to dictate which product you put in your baby blues, thus increasing the cronyism between manufacturers and docs. This bill is wrong in so many ways. It only takes us further off the tracks of freedom. Even in Europe you can order contact lenses from online sellers with no prescription. Prices fall and competition creates a vibrant selection of wonderful products for the visionally challenged.

    It’s not too much to ask that American consumers get the freedom of choices in contact lenses that the rest of the world gets. Thanks to the efforts of a Republican Senator the American free market is poised to take another hit and leave the consumer on the outside squinting in.


    S.C. Sherman

    Senior Editor

    Steve Sherman is an author, popular radio commentator, and former Iowa House candidate. His articles have appeared nationally in both print and online for Townhall, Human Events, Clash Daily, Washington Times, Washington Examiner, Red Alert Politics, Forbes, NRATV and others. All of his novels including his most recent tome, Lone Wolf Canyon, a modern day western that infuriates the left and all "Snowflakes," are available here.

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