Politics

Oklahoma State Question 793: Corporate Eye Care?

Wal-Mart wants to make getting glasses cheaper. But they also want to lower practicing standards? Is it worth it?

It’s that time! It’s time to go vote, and I’m ready and happy to go do my civic duty, and I truly hope that you are as well.

I’ve spent the last few days studying all the candidates, looking over the state questions, and doing everything that I can to make the most informed decision possible. I’m not going to list every person that I’m voting for, but, as I’m sure you can tell from the name of the site, I will be voting mostly Democrat. There is one Independent and on Republican that I will be voting for, though. I want the best person for the job, no matter what their affiliations are.

My first instinct is that this would be great! I’m all about trying to help the less fortunate gain access to medical treatment in any way possible

What has been the biggest challenge for me, however, has been deciding on State Question 793. If you’re not aware of this one yet, it will change the laws to allow places like Wal-Mart to provide optometrists in their establishments. According to those who are for the plan, this will allow them to provide cheaper and more convenient care to people all across the state.

My first instinct is: this would be great! I’m all about trying to help the less fortunate gain access to medical treatment in any way possible. I personally know a few people who need vision correction but are unable to get anything because it’s simply too expensive for them. This is something that could help them, and many others across the state, get the glasses or contacts that they need.

However…

The other side of this bill is that it also allows places like Wal-Mart to set the standards on the level of care that those practicing in their establishments must follow. This means that they can lower the quality of exams and practices to turn and burn patients as quickly and cheaply as possible. This is where my concerns start to come in.

Then you find out who’s been donating to these causes. Wal-Mart has donated the overwhelming majority of the money towards the “Yes” vote, while the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians has donated the most to the “No” vote.

Combine the fact that there will be a lowering of standards in regulations, along with the fact that Wal-Mart is pumping a lot of money into the campaign, and it adds up to me voting NO on State Question 793. I simply don’t trust Wal-Mart to have the best interest of people in mind when they set these kinds of things up. High levels of standards of treatment are important, and it keeps people from winding up with corrective lenses that are the wrong prescription or missing the warning signs of various eye diseases or other maladies.

Combine the fact that there will be a lowering of standards in regulations, along with the fact that Wal-Mart is pumping a lot of money into the campaign, and it adds up to me voting NO on State Question 793

Vision is important, and taking care of your eyes is a big responsibility. I shudder to imagine the day that Wal-Mart lowers the level of care to the point that they are simply hiring people with no experience or education off the street to handle your exams. Eye care is something that I don’t think we should sacrifice quality on. We need to leave that job to the professionals, and keep the standards high to protect us all in the long run.

I’m all for cheaper healthcare of any sort. But I just don’t think this is the right way to go about it, letting Wal-Mart be the one setting the standards. We need to find ways to make healthcare cheaper without sacrificing quality.

Vote NO on 793!

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