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Senate Bill 1052 — Optometry, lasers

Senate Bill 1052 — Optometry, lasers

Parrish Miller
February 8, 2023

Bill Description: Senate Bill 1052 would remove prohibitions against optometrists performing certain therapeutic laser procedures.

Rating: +1

Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market?

Currently, Section 54-1501, Idaho Code, prohibits optometrists from using therapeutic lasers, thereby creating a monopoly on these procedures for ophthalmologists. 

Senate Bill 1052 would provide a narrow exception to this prohibition for three specific laser procedures, namely laser capsulotomy, peripheral iridotomy, and laser trabeculoplasty. This exception would only apply to a licensed optometrist "who has graduated from a college or university that was accredited by the association of schools and colleges of optometry" where these therapeutic laser procedures were taught. The optometrist must have “passed the national board of examiners in optometry laser examination."

There is no reason why a licensed professional who is trained to perform these procedures should be denied the ability to do so, other than the desire of the Idaho Society of Ophthalmology to protect its existing monopoly.


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