Capitalism is awesome. It’s the foundation of our American society. The drive and ingenuity to create business drives our nation through good times and bad. Something in our DNA makes many Americans dream of owning their own businesses. Even with all the obstacles, the opportunity is still realized by many.
The dark side of capitalism turns otherwise good businesses into corruptible giants of greed.
When friendly competition amongst competitors isn’t enough, crony capitalists turn to government to legislate things their way. They usually make up a cool name to go along with it. For example, something like The Coalition for Patient Vision Care Safety.
With a great sounding name big business can team up with government to crush capitalism and disguise it as something wonderful. This name implies that this group is all about the patient. The little guy. The average person with bad eyes can count on this coalition to protect their vision care and keep them safe. Right? Safe from who?
The Coalition for Patient Vision Care Safety is driven by two forces. Johnson & Johnson and the American Optometry Association(AOA). Do you think when the largest manufacturer of contact lenses teams up with the largest organization representing eye doctors to pressure government to pass certain legislation it is going to be all about the little guy? Sadly NO.
These two in bed together should be called…The Coalition to Crush the Free Market or The Coalition Against Cheap Contacts or how about The Coalition to Spread Lies Falsehoods and Bad Legislation. Once you try naming some of these groups with the name that tells the truth about them, it can be kind of fun.
Too bad it isn’t fun if you have bad eyesight and love to wear contacts. Johnson & Johnson and the AOA have been at this for quite a while. In 1996 they were sued by 32 attorney generals for controlling the contact lens market. By not providing patients with their prescriptions made it impossible for them to price shop for the lenses. Also, the big manufacturers were accused of entering into back room deals that made it nearly impossible for wholesale competition of contacts. The AOA claimed that people who didn’t buy contacts from the optometrist’s office were at risk.
In response, a Republican controlled congress passed the (FCLCA) Fairness in Contact Lens Consumers Act. Let freedom ring! This legislation unbound the fetters of capitalism and broke the stranglehold that the big manufacturers and the eye doctors had on the delivery system. You could now take your prescription and order your contacts online or anywhere you wanted. Prices came down, new options arose, basically everything that is awesome about capitalism happened.
Guess who didn’t like this. Oh yes…Johnson & Johnson and the AOA.
They waited about a decade, but they got the old band back together and gave it a new name…The Coalition for Patient Vision Care Safety. You see, it’s not about controlling billions in market share…it’s about the safety of the patient. Right? Wrong.
These two forces are just looking out for blurry-eyed people everywhere and they have some friends in government pushing a bill authored by Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) called the Contact Lens Consumer Health Protection Act. Another misnamed piece of bogus legislation as it will do exactly the opposite. It’s not about safety for the patient. It is all about controlling how we all buy our contacts. They took so far as to use a rigged study from the FTC claiming online sellers are a danger to the industry.
A danger to their bottom line perhaps, but no danger to the patient who just wants to see the world clearly and not be held captive by big business and their eye doctor.
This is the kind of cronyism that makes people disgusted with our system of government. The Cassidy Bill should go down in flames and be cast into the lake of corruptible ideas.
Government and big business in collusion together never ends well for the average American and this is no exception.
If you can’t see well and wear contacts, you should care about this if you like your freedom.