AOA-PAC plays outsized role in 2022 midterm elections
Despite shifting political winds and the lasting disruption caused by the pandemic and economic downturn, the AOA-PAC continues to play a decisive role in hundreds of congressional races, nationwide.
As the 2022 midterm election closes with most races now called, the AOA-PAC backed more than 91% of winning candidates this cycle by reinvesting over $2 million back into the campaigns of hundreds of pro-optometry U.S. House and Senate incumbents and candidates. Below, view the AOA-PAC’s interactive map with a full list of endorsed candidates and incumbents, and see optometry’s advocates in action throughout the past year.
The growing strength and reach of the AOA-PAC is a major reason why the AOA is consistently named by Washington, D.C., insiders as one of the top advocacy organizations in the nation’s capital. However, with less than 9% of AOA members enlisted as 2022 AOA-PAC investors, optometry’s opponents may be gaining ground.
The elections may be over, but the AOA-PAC’s work continues. Hundreds of incoming lawmakers are starting outreach for help retiring campaign debt. Please consider making your 2022 AOA-PAC investment today, either online or by texting “EYES” to 41444.
“It’s truly inspiring to see so many of our colleagues come together with one voice under the banner of AOA-PAC, to have such an impressive impact on House and Senate races across the country and help make the new 118th Congress the most pro-optometry one yet,” says AOA President Robert C. Layman, O.D.
“But now the real work begins. Please take a few moments to commit to getting even more involved in the AOA’s advocacy, now and into the new year. Help us encourage even more of our colleagues to join the effort, too—together we can continue fighting and winning for our patients and profession,” Dr. Layman adds.
As Congress enters its post-election, lame-duck session, the AOA continues advocating to:
- Halt a planned 8.5% Medicare pay cut on Jan. 1, 2023, and enact long-term reimbursement reform in this new Congress. The AOA encourages bipartisan House legislation to avert these cuts and enlist a growing number of House and Senate leaders to act on the AOA’s plan to reform the Medicare pay system next year.
- Confront ongoing vision plan abuses by enacting the Dental and Optometric Care (DOC) Access Act (H.R. 3461 / S. 1793). The AOA is growing more House and Senate co-sponsors for the AOA- and American Dental Association-backed bill, as well as initiating Capitol Hill influencer advocacy that pushes Congress to move this legislation.
- Ensure unfettered veteran access to the full range of care optometry provides. The AOA advocates for these medical eye care services both inside the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and in veterans’ communities, as well as tackling growing VA Optometry recruitment and retention problems.
- Counter direct-to-consumer and other unscrupulous contact lens sellers. The AOA seeks to build further support on Capitol Hill for renewed efforts aimed at reining in dangerous practices, as well as encouraging stricter federal enforcement.
Support the AOA’s federal advocacy
Optometry’s advocates are needed to help ensure the profession’s priorities are heard in the 118th Congress. Here is how you can get involved:
- Access the AOA’s Action Center. Familiarize yourself with the AOA’s priority advocacy issues and take action directly with your lawmakers. Text “AOA” to 855.465.5124 to join the fight from your mobile device.
- Become an AOA Federal Keyperson. Help connect incoming members of Congress with representatives from your profession. Contact the AOA Advocacy Team to learn more about how you can become an AOA Federal Keyperson.
- Find your AOA Federal Advocacy Representative (FAR). Use the AOA’s interactive map to locate your state’s FAR, introduce yourself and ask how you can get more involved in your state’s efforts to support the AOA’s federal advocacy.
- Invest in AOA-PAC. Use your eight-digit, AOA membership ID number and log in from your computer to make an immediate investment to support the profession. Please consider an immediate $50 investment.
*Contributions to the AOA-PAC are for political purposes and are not tax deductible. Only AOA members and other eligible persons may contribute. Contributions will be screened and those from non-eligible persons will be returned. You have the right to refuse to contribute without fear of reprisal. You will not be advantaged or disadvantaged because of how much you give or because you do not give.
Medicare’s latest proposed rule builds on efforts to rein back Medicare Advantage plans with the AOA contributing comments that reiterate the need to eliminate plans’ barriers to care and promote transparency.
Ensuring our nation’s veterans have access to the full range of eye care they need, when and where they need it, has long been a mission for optometry’s advocates. Now, a pair of Veterans Health Administration directives affecting optometry could have far-reaching consequences beyond the nation’s largest integrated health care network.
In a recent one-on-one conversation with Federal Trade Commission staff, the AOA again urges the agency to reconsider a proposal requiring patients to sign forms attesting that they have received copies of their eyeglass prescriptions. For small-business optometric practices, the requirement would be burdensome from a paperwork perspective and unnecessary given that consumers are more empowered than ever, the AOA says—again.