Students Advocate for Optometry in Washington, D.C.

Right now your classmates and colleagues are in Washington, D.C. to support and advocate for YOUR profession at 2014’s Congressional Advocacy Conference (CAC)! Involvement and advocacy is absolutely vital and imperative for the growth of optometry, for providing the best possible care and access to that care for our patients, and for allowing us to practice to our full ability and scope. Your donations and involvement with the AOA-PAC make events like the CAC possible.

As far ‘being an advocate’ for optometry, the CAC in Washington D.C. is ground zero. This is not just letters or e-mails or donations, this is walking through the hallways on Capitol Hill, sitting in congressmen’s offices, face-to-face, real, direct conversations about why we feel they should support optometry by co-sponsoring certain bills. I strongly feel everyone should attend the CAC at least once in their student careers, it will leave a lasting impression that hopefully will stick with you as you move past school and into practice. Be an active member of the AOA and support optometry!

Here are the 2 bills we’re trying to get as many co-sponsors for as possible:

National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Improvement Act (HR 920): Want to get help repaying your loans after school by working in an underserved area or community health center? Many other new grads in their respective health care professions can, but we can’t! We used to be included in this Federal health program, but aren’t anymore! This bill will allow OD’s to participate in loan repayment and scholarship programs while working in underserved areas and community health centers.

Optometric Equity in Medicaid Act (HR 855): While Medicare recipients have full access to eye care, Medicaid recipients unfortunately do not. This bill supports non-discrimination and full access to eye care for all Medicaid patients.

Check out this inside look at last year’s Congressional Advocacy Conference in this video made by and the AOSA:

We’ll keep you up to date as students meet with congressmen tomorrow on Capitol Hill!

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