Cuts To Medicade Will Impact Vision Care

It is important that NYSOA members contact the legislators identified on the attached document to share their opposition to this proposal. This message is brought to you by the NYSOA and was forwarded to my SUNY Optometry E-mail and is NOT an original article by

If you are a pre-optometry student applying to optometry school and you are looking to strengthen your application and make a positive difference then this article is for you. It really says something about your passion for optometry (and your knowledge of managed care) if you follow the instructions below and contact your assembly member to voice your opinion. Any admissions committee would be impressed if you called your assembly member to voice your concerns about Medicaid cuts and acutally made a positive difference for the profession. If you are a pre-optometry student then this message is for you!

A message from the NYSOA

NYSOA, the New York State Optometric Association, is joining the long list of fellow advocacy groups that are fighting any proposal to cut ‘optional’ services in Medicaid.  As with the other potentially vulnerable services, there is nothing “optional” about vision care—a service that can mean the difference between success and failure at school and on the job.  Please call today to make sure that optional services are not cut in the budget.

We are asking you to take action at once, today if possible:
Say No To Cuts To Medicaid “Optional” People And Care!

Call the Following Albany Leaders Today!

Senator Skelos

Assemblyman Silver

Senator Sampson

Senator Kruger

Your Senator and Assembly member

Here is the message:
I am a practicing optometrist, calling from (your locality) to tell you that cutting Medicaid Optional services, including vision care, from Medicaid, is not an option you should consider.

Background: New York State legislators have been discussing whether the Legislature should eliminate optional Medicaid services in New York as a way to close the State’s $3.1 billion deficit.  The proposal, which does not specifically identify the benefits that would be excluded, could impact coverage of essential services, and may not actually even save significant New York State funds.

While states do not have to cover optional services as a condition of their participation in the Medicaid program, many optional services are central to the program and the population it serves.  For example, optional Medicaid services include:

•    Prescription drugs
•    Dental services
•    Care furnished by licensed practitioners such as psychologists and podiatrists
•    Nurse practitioner and private duty nursing services
•    eyeglasses and optometric services
•    Speech, hearing, and language therapy
•    Physical and occupational therapy
•    Personal services
•    Certain types of long-term care services including respiratory care services

Here’s what others have said about the elimination of these services:
Albany, NY – Advocates from across the state called upon state elected officials not to pass devastating cuts in the safety-net that will jeopardize New York’s health and safety. Cuts to people and services will cause an immediate skyrocketing of much more intensive and expensive Medicaid hospital and nursing home costs to the State and the counties. In addition, the State will also sacrifice federal dollars that flow into our local communities and create jobs.

Our seniors, people with disabilities and children are being endangered. Children without health care cannot fight H1N1. Adults without wheelchairs will be imprisoned in their homes. Diabetics with no dental care will rapidly develop uncontrolled bacterial and fungal infections that can be life threatening. Children using ventilators at home will be institutionalized and lose their childhoods. Individuals without eyeglasses or hearing aids will not be safe on the streets. Patients who do not understand their doctors because they speak a different language will take the wrong dose of medication and need hospital care. Seniors who cannot get help with preparing a meal or shop for the necessities in life will undoubtedly end up in nursing homes that will only cost taxpayers even more money. Families on the edge will break without clinical psychological help.

This is the wrong medicine for New York—our Medicaid program keeps us safe and well. “We’re better than this,” stated many advocates.
“California pursued this route and cut services that assisted the disabled and elderly with activities of daily living. Those cuts were blocked by court action. Expert testimony in that case warned of premature deaths and a humanitarian crisis. I think we would face the same things here in New York were we to cut personal care services for our Medicaid population.” -Trilby de Jung, Health Law Attorney, Empire Justice Center

Please take action today!

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