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Just Say No to Lame Duck Tricks

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

With the upset of the ages in rear view mirror, Donald Trump is making plans about who to surround himself with come January. His election has sparked protesting in the streets and caused weak-kneed college students to be too upset to go to class. His election has struck fear into the hearts of liberals and business as usual cronies of every party.

The remaining session of Congress is officially a “Lame Duck” and a crony capitalist playground.

Like rats scurrying from a sinking ship, politicians on their way out of congress have been known to fulfill as many self-serving promises as they can before they pack their bags and head home. We must keep a watchful eye upon what they might do in the waning days of the Obama presidency.

In 2004, congress broke up the medical lobby’s monopoly over the contact lens industry, by forcing eye doctors to give you your prescription and let you purchase eye products wherever you wish. This caused the online and third party market to flourish. We have seen choice increase and price decline. A real win for the consumer. Since that day, the powerful special interests made up of optometrists and contact lens manufacturers have been hawking ways to get their control back.

It would be a slap in the face of consumers if they were allowed to sneak a provision into a must pass appropriations bill in a Lame Duck trick. A backroom deal to fulfill a promise to a large donor is a great way to secure yourself a new job after leaving congress. The problem with the backroom deal, besides being a disgusting twist of our fair system, is that average guy who needs contacts gets ripped off by the self-serving politician. This is very reason why congress has such a low approval rating.

They can’t be trusted. They must be fervently watched. They want to undue the 2004 law and take away freedom that American’s currently enjoy. They are attempting to provide cover for their nefarious plans by claiming that all that wonderful freedom is a health risk to the consumer. Allowing competition in the marketplace is not a health risk, it does however, force companies to provide a quality product at a fair price and actually compete for the business of their consumer.

If that doesn’t work, powerful entities, like the medical lobby, turn to their friends in government to pass laws to squash the competition and force their consumers into submission. A captive purchasing block is much easier to abuse than one with choices.

The truth is that to get an eye prescription you must get an exam somewhere, generally from an optometrist. In reality, even this being required is a form of crony capitalism that is propping up the powers of industry. New technology exists that allows this step to be done without a trip to the eye doctor. There are simple apps that will check your vision in the comfort of your own home. There are no health risks with purchasing lenses without a prescription. Many countries do this already and have not seen increased eye infections.

Once the mandate that requires patients to receive contact lens prescriptions from a doctor is gone, there would be no need for the 2004 bill, but until that day, it is necessary to keep prices low and retain a competitive market place. It’s an imperfect system at best, but it’s the best we have right now.

The 2004 bill is literally all that stands in the way of the free market assault the power players of the contact lens industry have been waging. Watch out. They see an opportunity in the upcoming Lame Duck session to get what they want.

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