Political Disagreement Over Opticians

February 14th, 2011
Political Disagreement Over Opticians

A political argument has started over a bill going through the US Senate concerning opticians.

The bill, which one senator believes is being rushed, will allow opticians (called optometrists in America) to do more than they are legally entitled do at present; currently, this is just diagnosis and treatment of certain eye problems and the prescription of glasses and contact lenses.

The new bill would allow laser surgery to correct problems occurring after cataract operations.

The Republican senator who is objecting to the bill being rushed through the Senate, said: “I think this is a travesty of justice. I am not going to be party in voting for a bill that has been run through this body very quickly.”

The major reason apparently for the senator’s opposition is she believes that this bill should not take precedence over what she and others think are more important legislative issues, such as the Adult Abuse Registry.

One major reason suspected for rushing the optometry bill through the Senate is the fact that optometrists have paid around $264,000 in campaign donations to bill supporters, most of which went to candidates for the legislature.

Opponents of the bill also include ophthalmologists who believe allowing opticians greater powers could have unintended consequences, as it enables opticians to do things which are beyond their training.

Supporters of the bill argue that the bill is not being rushed through. One such supporter told reporters: “There was no rush. There was support. Look at the level of support out there. We pass bills when there’s the support.”

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