Record-setting week for AOA Advocacy

April 12, 2012

Optometry took center stage in the nation’s capital last week as a record number of AOA doctors and students came together to build on the profession’s most recent legislative and regulatory gains in Washington, DC and in state capitals, and set the stage for future access, coverage, quality of care and scope of practice victories.

The first combined AOA Congressional Advocacy Conference and State Legislative and Third Party National Conference – the largest optometric advocacy event ever – brought 689 ODs and optometry students from across the country to Washington, DC for meetings on Capitol Hill and with Obama administration officials to demand full implementation of the AOA-backed:

  • Harkin Amendment
  • Stabenow Amendment
  • Pediatric vision essential benefit
  • Optometry–specific legislation now before Congress

More than 300 optometry students participated in conference events, including the meetings on Capitol Hill, talks with top Obama administration officials implementing the new health care law, and discussions led by optometry’s own experts in federal, state and third-party advocacy.

Dori Carlson, O.D., AOA president, said, “Coming at a critical time for us to be heard in the national debate over health care policy, AOA’s largest-ever advocacy conference has won us important new friends and put medicine, insurers and other groups with an anti-optometry agenda on notice that we will do what it takes to stand up for our patients, our practices and our profession. I’m especially proud of the hundreds of young doctors and students who came to Washington at their own expense as a first step to win our profession’s future.”

AOA members can click here for more information on the conference from Dr. Carlson and Ron Hopping, O.D., AOA president-elect, including a message from our colleague Mike Kreidler, O.D., Washington Insurance Commissioner and a former HHS official, Member of Congress, and state legislator.

For full coverage of the 2012 AOA Congressional Advocacy Conference and to learn more about what your AOA is doing to ensure that ODs and patients are treated fairly as the new health care reform law is implemented, AOA members can visit the AOA’s Health Care Reform page at www.aoa.org/reform

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