FTC Contact Lens Rule Updates Could Provide Clarity For Taxpayers

As we continue to review the newly-finalized Contact Lens Rule from the Federal Trade Commission, which updates regulations regarding safe and guaranteed consumer access to prescriptions, National Taxpayers Union is both impressed and encouraged by the details we have reviewed so far. This has been years in the making but marks definitive progress toward greater choice - and greater savings - for consumers and taxpayers across the country.

NTU's work on access to prescriptions for ocular patients has a long history and we applaud the FTC for taking so many pro-taxpayer principles into consideration. All along, taxpayers had a major stake in this outcome. Providing clearer rules of the road for portability of prescriptions means that vision care in government employee insurance plans will be less expensive. Over time, as Medicaid programs offer participants the option of funding vision services, these cost reductions will find their way into other taxpayer-funded health programs. In addition, online exam technologies, which have in part evolved from the innovative consumer vision care environment that the original contact lens rule helped to support, won't be harmed by FTC's latest action.

What's important now is that Congress not intervene to muddy up an area of consumer regulation that now, finally, has some clarity. Especially now, policymakers should be encouraging, not hindering, new ways of delivering health products and services to all Americans.