Thursday, May 24, 2018

'Yes on 793' turns in 255k signatures for eye care referendum

Greater Access And More Affordable, Quality Vision Care Now One Step Closer For Oklahoma Patients

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (MAY 24) — Yes on 793 delivered 255,018 signatures to the Oklahoma Secretary of State today in support of adding State Question 793 to the November ballot, which will give Oklahoma patients the power to modernize state optical laws and expand their eye care options.

“We are simply overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response,” said Tim Tippit, Chairman of Yes on 793 and President and CFO of Edmond-based DaVinci Equity Group, a Top 50 U.S. optical retailer whose business model is prohibited in Oklahoma under current law. “With deep roots in Oklahoma, I am troubled by the fact my company is not allowed to bring accessible, affordable and quality eye care to our communities. In fact, patients in 47 other states have more choices for how they approach eye care for their families than we do in Oklahoma. Since the legislature will not act, it’s time to let the people modernize this archaic law.”

Current Oklahoma law prohibits optometrists from opening practices in “commercial” settings and further bars retailers from offering eye hardware unless it represents a majority of their sales.  SQ 793 will allow for greater convenience and affordability for patients by loosening these restrictions to allow consumers to fill their prescriptions at local retailers, while still keeping all health standards in place.

“The signature collection process showed us what we’ve always known to be true: Oklahomans want this choice,” stated Gwendolyn Caldwell, spokeswoman for Oklahomans for Consumer Freedom, which has advocated for modernizing state optical laws during the past year. “Not only did we exceed the number of signatures required, but we have done so with weeks to spare. To put this constitutional change on the ballot requires 123,725 signatures.  The Yes on 793 effort more than doubled that requirement.

“It’s time to bring our laws into the 21st century and give Oklahomans the same choices and convenience they can find online or across state borders,” said Caldwell, “We need to be promoting business in Oklahoma, not driving customers out of the state. Oklahomans are showing that they are tired of being denied the same rights as those in other states. We deserve the same convenience, the same affordability and the same choices. Saying Yes on 793 will make this happen.”

Given the timing of past petition turn-ins, the campaign anticipates that SQ 793 will be included on the November 2018 ballot.

About Yes on 793
Yes on 793 is a coalition of retailers, patients, health professionals and free-market advocates that believe in common sense reform to Oklahoma’s eye care laws. Patients in Oklahoma deserve greater access to vision care while opportunities increase for small businesses and communities.


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