In an historic ruling just issued this morning, the United States Supreme Court dismissed challenges to the constitutionality of major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Largely ending the uncertainty about the fate of the new health care reform law, AOA anticipates that federal and state-level agencies will now increase efforts to shape state-based health insurance exchanges and implement further provisions of the sweeping new law, including the AOA-backed Harkin Amendment, Stabenow Amendment, and pediatric vision care essential benefit.
Battling organized medicine, insurers, and others with an anti-optometry agenda, AOA fought for and won a valued seat at the Washington, D.C. table as the debate over health reform intensified. And, as key health reform decisions are made in the nation's capital and in statehouses across the country in the coming weeks and months, AOA will continue working to advance pro-access, pro-patient solutions aimed at ensuring that doctors of optometry and their patients are treated fairly under health reform and that policymakers and others fully understand the central role that optometrists play in enhanced care delivery and improved health outcomes.
Today's ruling does put some contentious issues to rest, but it also clearly points to other pressing health care policy questions that still need to be decided. To ensure that optometry continues to be heard loud and clear, we must now re-commit ourselves to the strongest possible links to our U.S. Senators and House members through the AOA Federal Keyperson Program and AOA-PAC. Please get involved today. In the never-ending fight for fairness for our profession, our practices and our patients, we have one voice...our AOA. Now, with new and even more challenging battles ahead, and groups with an anti-optometry agenda even more intent on defeating us, it's essential for all ODs to join together to make our AOA even stronger, our voice even louder and our victories even more sweeping.
In the days ahead, we'll provide further updates and analysis. In the meantime, please visit AOA's Health Care Reform site at www.aoa.org/reform and do not hesitate to contact us or our Washington Office team (1-800-365-2219 / ImpactWashingtonDC@aoa.org ) with questions or comments.