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Walmart Defends Against Critics As It Seeks to Provide Eyecare in Stores

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In Oklahoma, the issue is set for a Nov. 6 vote.

As Oklahoma voters prepare to vote on whether retailers should be able to offer eyecare services, Walmart is defending itself against criticisms, the Tulsa World reports.

Language in the proposal would permit stores to limit the scope of practice, and some critics say that could mean they offer only barebones services — just enough to sell eyeglasses and contact lenses.

“You are using medical care to profit on the sales of something else,” Jason Ellen, president of the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians, told the newspaper.

But Walmart officials say that language has a different purpose in the bill: preventing optometrists from performing laser vision correction at Walmart locations. Oklahoma is unusual in that it allows optometrists to perform laser correction.

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The eyecare question is set to appear on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

Oklahomans for Consumer Freedom, which is supported by Walmart, collected signatures in support of putting the question on the ballot. The group has said it wants consumers to have “more choices, better prices, convenience.”

The Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians opposes the measure, which is known as State Question 793.

Oklahoma is one of just three states with “a law that prohibits optometrists from practicing in retail locations or maintaining any commercial relationship with a retail optical store,” KGOU has reported.

Read more at Tulsa World

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