By Easton Randall, R Street Institute –
While most of Congress and K Street is preoccupied with tax reform, keeping the government funded and deciding which holiday parties to attend, other issues in Congress are moving ahead under the radar. If the American people are not vigilant, Congress is going to get away with supporting some fairly anti-free market policies that will have real, negative effects on millions of people.
One example involves contact lenses and a 14-year fight with the optometrist lobby over Americans’ right to choose where they buy contact lenses. In late November, Chairwoman of the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., introduced the committee’s appropriations bill, which gave an early Christmas present to all optometrists in America, courtesy of the American consumer. In the legislation, the subcommittee takes to task the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) proposed rule that would require optometrists to have patients sign a written acknowledgment indicating that they received their prescription and to keep and store a copy of the signed acknowledgment as proof.