Locals weigh in on State Question 793

Posted at 8:18 PM, Oct 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-11 16:09:54-04

TULSA -- A huge talker for Oklahomans is heading to the polls this November. State Question 793 opens the door for optometrists and opticians to practice inside retail stores.

Optometrists say there are two parts to an eye exam.

"There’s the refractions so checking for glasses, contact lenses, and then there’s the eye health," said Brett Wagner, Optometrist with Eye Care for Tulsa.

If SQ 793 passes, eye doctors could practice inside retail stores, and sell glasses. Optometrists say they're not worried about people buying glasses at retail stores.

"You can even buy glasses on the internet now," said Wagner.

Dr. Wagner says he's more concerned about the level of care they can provide in big retail stores.

"I've had patients that have had brain tumors that we were able to identify on the eye exams," said Dr. Wagner.

But those who petitioned for 793 to be on the ballot say the optometrists who would work inside the retail stores are qualified.

"They have to be licensed the exactly same way and their scope of practice is exactly the same," said Gwendolyn Caldwell, with Oklahomans for Consumer Freedom.

They see the positive impact clearly, convenience and more affordable eye care for people in Oklahoma.

"The main barriers for children learning to read, and especially for low income students, is eye wear," said Caldwell.

Oklahomans are vocal on both sides of the legislation, and they will have their time to vote in November.

"I’ve gone to a doctor but I would probably feel just as comfortable going to a department store because it is just once a year," said Bic Nguyen, an eye care patient.

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