The California Optometric Association has contributed $10,000 to help stop the corporate attack — primarily led by Walmart Inc. in Oklahoma — on the optometry profession as well as public health and policy.
“This is an attempt by a for-profit corporation to control the profession of optometry and is wrong, misleading and bad public policy,” Ranjeet S. Bajwa, OD, president of the California Optometric Association (COA), said in a press release from the group.
In November, State Question 793, which would amend the state’s constitution and heavily affect optometry practitioners and their patients, will appear on the ballot in Oklahoma. According to the release, the amendment would give undue power to retailers, allowing them to restrict the lawful scope of practice of eye care professionals. The Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians has sponsored a campaign, Oklahoman’s Against SQ 793, to combat the efforts by Walmart and other corporations to control public policy.
The COA is determined to minimize the corporate influence on doctor-patient relationships and urges the state affiliates to join the effort, according to the release.
“This is an attempt to increase the profits of one of the nation’s largest corporations that puts at risk the public’s health and welfare by limiting the independent clinical judgment of our proud profession,” Bajwa said. “If allowed to become law, we believe it will embolden profit-motivated giant corporations to come to our state and attempt the same.”