Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Prohibited by law?

Sometimes it astounds me just long the arm of the law is.

Earlier this month I had an appointment with the eye doctor. I arrived 10 minutes early. She was short-staffed that day, her receptionist was a surly witch and I was on borrowed time as Dan was at Parent's Morning Out. To make matters more annoying, a man who arrived after me was called in before me. Ugh. So I told the receptionist to forget about it and left. But I did need new contact lenses, so I ordered new ones this week despite my prescription having run out. Maybe I could get away with it?

I get this email back a few days after I order:
To keep your eyes healthy, please contact your doctor to schedule an eye exam and renew your prescription. Please note that you'll need a new prescription for future orders as a current prescription is required by law.
Luckily, my eye doctor isn't an idiot and allowed the purchase anyway. She probably figured it's better I have my contact lenses than not.

Now, in the past 10 years, my prescription has changed ever so slightly, not dramatically. Yet, I am forced by law to take time out of my schedule, find child care, wait, get an exam, have gunk that affects my immediate vision put in my eyes, get my eyes measured (I'm 34, I don't think they're still growing) and pay $200 just to get my contact lens prescription refilled. Then, of course, I spend at least $200 a year on my contact lenses. Basically, I pay twice what I feel is necessary, plus spend my precious time and energy, all because of a law.

Why am I not trusted to see the doctor on my own if I feel I'm having trouble seeing? And since when is it the government's job to make sure I keep my eyes healthy? I suspect it's because our government is so easily swayed by lobbyists who likely convinced them that it's a public safety issue and it's in the public's best interest.

And here's the big hole in the law: If you wear glasses or have never worn glasses, you're not required to go to the eye doctor every year. So, if you want to throw the safety argument out there, how exactly am I protected from bozos who don't get their eye glass prescription renewed or never get their eyes checked? Honestly, though, I'm not worried about that. If someone takes a driving test, their eye sight is checked. If it's poor, they get no license. That's all the protection I feel is necessary.

It's very annoying to have a government mandate intrude on my life in this manner. Can't the politicians in Washington please stop trying to make everyone's life better? Please stop trying to save us from ourselves. Please stop looking out for my best interest. My parents stopped doing that when I was 18 and so should the government.

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