Friday, February 18, 2011

Stop the Optometrist Bill

The speed at which the bill to allow optometrists to perform surgery is hurling through the Kentucky legislature is breathtaking, and ludicrous.

To me, it makes about as much sense as allowing social workers to perform brain surgery. And I say that with no disrespect to optometrists, who do a great job providing low-cost eye glasses. But they are not medical doctors, and no amount of lobbying and campaign donations can alter that truth.

The pace of the optometrists bill is particularly galling given the many other pressing needs in the Commonwealth that go unaddressed. There has been no bill, to the best of my knowledge, to save the horse industry -- an issue the Kentucky legislature has been dithering with for many years, while breeders move out of state. There has been no progress on reforming our tax code, a code that is so anti-business it relegates huge segments of our population to permanent under-employment or unemployment. This issue, too, is one that has languished for years.

This session has debated bills designed to prevent law-abiding citizens from buying cold medicine. And bills that target an illegal immigrant population that is laughably small.

In short, the whole session has been an embarrassing waste of taxpayer's money.

And yet when it comes to a bill of true stupidity, our legislators decide they've got to Move it, Move it. Apparently, the thought was to pass the thing before anyone noticed. People have noticed.

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