I predict that, one day, LASIK will be an opt-in free service to any American who needs it, and it may cost the taxpayer less than what we think.
At some point, the technology and availability of LASIK surgery will come down so dramatically that we (health care providers and government health agencies) will do a cost-benefit analysis and conclude that the price of a one-time event (i.e., LASIK) outweighs the cost of years of eye exams, glasses and/or contacts, etc.
Will that put some people in the eye care industry out of work? There will still be a need for them for kids under 18 years of age. And eye care does not stop with LASIK. Vision can deteriorate and there will always be those who choose good ol’ fashioned glasses.
One last thing: I also believe we will see a cure for blindness. It may be a Geordi La Forge visor or a special surgery, but I believe we’ll see that cure in my lifetime.