By Alexander Hendrie and Chuck Muth –
Conservatives support free markets because they give consumers — rather than the government — the freedom to make purchasing choices and decide what price to pay.
That’s why the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent proposal to protect contact lens consumer choice is pro-free market.
To be clear, conservatives should be wary of regulations. The over-regulation of the Obama era caused immense damage to the economy. The Trump administration has rightly taken many steps to undo this burdensome regulatory environment, a decision that should be applauded.
However, the FTC’s proposed rule is not a burdensome regulation that Trump should repeal, it is quite the opposite. The rule is a free market measure that ensures consumers have access to their prescription regardless of where they purchase their contact lens, as they should.
In the U.S., contact lenses require a prescription just like medical devices and many medicines. Getting this prescription means seeing an optometrist that approves the purchase of contact lenses.
Optometrists are unique among medical professionals in that they provide both the service and the product; optometrists prescribe the contact lens and also sell it.