For Eyes of New Mexico

Last week I visited an eye clinic in Albuquerque. As I was completing the paperwork prior to my exam, a young woman entered the office. She was visibly upset because she had been unable to obtain new glasses under her old prescription. She was informed that opticians in New Mexico are prohibited from filling eyeglass prescriptions that are more than one year old. It turns out that her prescription was about 13 months old.
Isn’t it wonderful that we have the all-knowing state to decide her trade-off between the expense of another eye exam, fulfilling her old prescription or going without? The optometrist’s administrative assistant explained to me that some states are much less efficient than New Mexico, allowing as much as two years before mandated expiration of a prescription!
Who do you think benefits from this restriction on free choice in the marketplace? Who loses? If the overall losses are greater than the benefits, how could such a restriction be passed by our legislature?

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2 Replies to “For Eyes of New Mexico”

  1. I agree! I would hate to live in a society where people could take an old prescription; maybe for medication they no longer need and might now be harmful to them and have it filled by a pharmacist. I hope you got the sarcasm there, because I was laying it on pretty thick.
    The government is not “all knowing”, that’s why they require up to date prescriptions. My libertarian friend here, bless is little heart, would much rather live in a society where doctors were unfettered, to use one of the lib’s favorite words, and could practice without BIG GOVERNMENT getting in the way. That’s wrong. James Madison knew that humans were not perfect and were full of flaws. He said as much in the Federalist Papers. So, he argued, we need a government to secure people. It’s safer for everybody to have current prescriptions. It keeps patients safer and possible litigants out of court. Isn’t that a goal of the conservitives now-at-days? Anyway, I’m late, I’m due at the pharmisist. See I have the perscription from over 7 years ago when I had surgery on my knee. It’s for morphine. I hope they can fill it. Is it safe to take morphine if you need it? Awe, who cares!

  2. Thanks for the post David. I suspect Madison would object to your characterization. Government exists to secure the blessings of liberty. This is very different from securing people. In other words, by protecting basic rights, government can create an environment in which people may flourish. It can not, however, guarnantee that they will flourish. Madison himself complained of the “facility and excess of law-making” which he called “the diseases to which our governments are most liable.” (Federalist 62). For his part, Jefferson said he would “predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government form wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

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