U.S. House of Representatives Passes "Vision Care for Kids Act"
Alexandria, VA (October 16, 2007) – The advocacy efforts of the optical industry paid off in a big way yesterday as the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Vision Care for Kids Act of 2007.” The bill received overwhelming support from the House and passed with bipartisan backing.
“We are thrilled that the ‘Vision Care for Kids Act’ has reached this important juncture on Capitol Hill after years of work,” said R. Michael Daley, chair of the Vision Council of America’s (VCA) Government Relations Committee. “This bill is proof that when the vision community works together, things can really get done.”
The “Vision Care for Kids Act,” H.R. 507, 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 U.S. Reps. Gene Green (D-TX), Vito Fossella (R-NY), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY), John Sullivan (R-OK) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL).
“Now that is has cleared the House of Representatives, our next step is to get it through the Senate in an expeditious manner,” noted Ed Greene, VCA chief executive officer. “With passage in the Senate, we will be on our way to the White House for the bill to be signed into law.”
The “Vision Care for Kids Act” is supported by the alliance of VCA, 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 Vision Care Plans, National Head Start Association, Opticians Association of America, Reading Is Fundamental and Vision Service Plan.
“What the coalition of optical groups has managed to do on Capitol Hill is unprecedented, and we thank all of those involved for their steadfast support over the past years. Without it, we would never be where we are today,” said Greene.
VCA 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 for 2007” or to write to your senators, visit www.2020advocacy.com.