U.S. House of Representatives Passes Vision Care for Kids Act
Alexandria, VA (April 1, 2009) – Long-standing efforts paid off yesterday as the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Vision Care for Kids Act of 2009.” The bill received overwhelming support from the House and passed with a vote of 404-17 as part of a larger Public Health Week initiative of Congress.
The “Vision Care for Kids Act,” H.R. 577, provides children with the follow-up care needed after being identified with a potential vision problem by a comprehensive eye exam or vision screening. Bill sponsors include Gene Green (D-TX), John Sullivan (R-OK), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Elliot Engel (D-NY) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL).
According lead majority sponsor Green, “unless caught early and appropriately treated, vision disorders can lead to irreversible damage that can hinder a child’s normal growth, development, and opportunity to succeed. These children deserve a healthy start to their educational and social development.”
“Millions of children in the United States suffer from vision problems, many of which go undetected because of the lack of access to and the affordability of proper eye care,” said Sullivan, lead minority sponsor of the bill. “This legislation will bridge a chief gap in vision care – and allow children to receive treatment for their vision problems before it is too late.”
The “Vision Care for Kids Act” is supported by the alliance of The Vision Council, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, the American Optometric Association and Prevent Blindness America. Also supporting the bill are the National Association of School Nurses, National Association of Vision Care Plans, National Head Start Association, Opticians Association of America, Reading Is Fundamental and Vision Service Plan.
“Our hard work over the years has led to a quick passage in the House of Representatives and we hope for the same in the Senate,” said Ed Greene, chief executive officer of The Vision Council. “Working together as an industry has helped to really move the bill through the process.”
The Vision Council encourages all members of the vision community to contact their senators and ask them to support this legislation. For more information on the “Vision Care for Kids Act of 2009” or to write to your senators, visit www.2020advocacy.com.
Dedicated to enhancing life through better vision, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We provide a forum to advocate for better vision and to promote quality vision care products and services in the global community.