For years, the AOA has worked to make healthy vision for children a national health care priority.
Now, after working to ensure that the 2010 health care overhaul recognized pediatric vision care as "essential" and continuing to advocate for our youngest patients as the law is being implemented, we have what could be our last chance to be heard before the Federal government's proposed essential health benefits regulations are released, possibly before the end of the month.
Please send an e-mail message to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in support of AOA's efforts to ensure that direct access to a comprehensive eye exam and follow-up care will be the foundation of the new pediatric vision care essential health benefit.
Of course, it would help our cause even more if you could encourage others who care about healthy vision to also contact the Secretary in this way. The extra effort will be especially important in helping the AOA counter groups representing insurers and organized medicine that have been calling on HHS to establish a limited children's vision benefit based on screenings.
Here's a sample message that can be e-mailed to Secretary Sebelius at email@example.com today:
Please take action today!
Also, you may be interested in reviewing additional information on AOA's advocacy efforts aimed at helping millions more children and adults gain access to the optometric care they need:
It's expected that HHS will release its proposed essential benefit regulations very soon. Although our profession has done a great deal already to be heard, there's more work to be done and an urgent need for all of us to be involved. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me or the Director of the AOA Washington office, Jon Hymes, at firstname.lastname@example.org/ 1-800-365-2219.
Dori Carlson, OD