OKLAHOMA CITY – A state question that would allow popular stores to offer eye exams and eyeglasses to Oklahomans is one step closer to being on the ballot.
Supporters say State Question 793 will give Oklahoma patients the power to modernize state optical laws and expand their eye care options. It would allow eye care facilities to open in retail locations like Costco, Target and Walmart.
Currently, 47 other states already have eye care facilities inside retailers like Walmart and Target. Oklahoma is one of only three states that currently prohibit optometrists from opening practices in commercial settings.
For months, the ‘Yes on 793’ campaign has been collecting signatures to get SQ 793 on the November ballot.
“This law will give patients more access, more affordability and more choices,” Tim Tippit, the chairman of Yes on 793, told News 4.
However, some optometrists believe it is ultimately about corporate profit and not the patient.
“That is not good for any person, to be a part of healthcare systems that are managed by someone that is basically adding dollars to their bottom line,” said Dr. Selina McGee, a local optometrist.
On Thursday, the Secretary of State's Office certified 249,451 valid signatures, bringing it one step closer to being added to the November ballot.
“Today’s announcement by the Secretary of State confirms the groundswell of grassroots support we have long seen for modernizing our state’s outdated optical laws,” said Tippit. “Oklahomans are sending a loud and clear message that they want the same access to convenient and affordable eye care that virtually all other Americans enjoy. It is time to listen to the communities of Oklahoma and give them the opportunity in November to bring our optical laws into the 21st century.”