Suppressing of Key Eye Health Innovations

themselves from competition by harnessing the state powers. Most people argue against this fact, yet it is a widespread phenomenon. The occurrence of this situation inflicts losses to the general public.

A recent example is an aggressive campaign by the American Optometric Association (AOA) to fight the innovations that currently provide accurate eye tests and length prescriptions to United State citizens through the internet. Such innovations would provide significant savings for millions of patients requiring eye correction. However, the phenomenon would negatively impact the revenue for optometrists, and that is why they are seeking help from the politicians.

One of the alternatives that the AOA considers as villain is Opternative, an online platform offering consumers a 25-minute eye test via a smartphone application. The lobbying has been fruitful in South Carolina. The state legislature banned Opternative by passing a bill that prevented similar technologies from providing the service. The bill was mainly aimed at granting licensed optometrists the monopoly power to provide eye tests.

The then-governor vetoed the bill, stating that under her administration, the state has expanded health care. According to her, the innovation was developed by a small group of eye professionals seeking to block the new developments in the field. As a result, the Eye Care Consumer Protection law has been enacted, wiping out online eye test firms from the market.

However, the AOA should not celebrate their victory yet. Opternative has filed a suit that challenges the legality of legislation. The suit has been brought with the help of the Institute for Justice. The Tenth Circuit had declared the law unconstitutional after a thorough analysis. However, the Supreme Court rebuked the decision. Recently, the court has considered a more engaged stance on the matter.

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