Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is rightfully positioning Arizona for a better state of innovation, for the best possible business climate.
As members of all parties consider whether our state is to be one of the past or one of the future more and more legislative issues are being viewed through the innovation prism. Are you a dinosaur like the decision makers at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport or are you on the side of the consumer with more choices?
One of this year’s biggest legislative brawls, that being doctors and nurses and whether the latter should be able to creep into territory previously the domain of Doctor Welby, is no exception. But in that debate both sides can make a claim for the cloak.
In the case of another, similar but lesser known bill the freedom and innovation clarity is far more obvious. You see, HB 2523 led by State Representative Heather Carter emancipates some 700,000 Arizona wearers of contact lenses from a state mandated and expensive optometrist visit every year just to get a refill to once every three years. Mind you, a patient is free to see an optometrist any time for any reason.
Let’s bring this common sense into focus a bit more because the absurdity of the existing state law may blind some with anger.
Does the state mandate you visit a doctor every year? Or how about a dentist? What about podiatrists? After all, shoes can do damage to one’s feet. None of this is in state law. It would be ridiculous if so. How and when the optometrist lobby actually convinced the good men and women of the Arizona State Legislature once upon a time to require an annual visit costing $140-$220 just to get a contact lens refill is a testament to that special interest lobby but inanity for all other thinking individuals.
In this day and age people can get contact lenses refilled online or in other ways besides enduring through a costly and time consuming special interest subsidy. It would be like resisting Amazon because some might says it is dangerous to drive and buy a book at Barnes & Noble. Such logic is one of the reasons a beacon of liberty, the Goldwater Institute, supports HB2523. And does anyone think anybody outside of the State Capitol bubble doesn’t think likewise? Surely not the overwhelming number of people who would like a little more convenience and a lot less cost. Surely not several other states who have made the switch and seen zero impact to public health.
No matter how hard they argue and how vitriolic they get optometrists should show the same respect to patients and customers others in the medical profession do, and not rely on state sanctioned subsidies. And if they won’t Arizona lawmakers should side with real freedom, not the freedumb a special interest lobby is sadly selling.