Maybe I’ve traded in my rose-colored glasses for much darker ones, because I find myself feeling quite disheartened.
I’m disheartened that there’s even a debate about whether healthcare is a basic right of every individual or a privilege reserved only for those who can afford to buy coverage if not offered by their employers. And, I’m disheartened that the cov-erage of more than 20 million individuals is at risk.
I’m also disheartened any time I hear more emphasis on making sure consumers can shop around for contact lenses and not enough emphasis on making sure they only get lenses with a valid—and current—prescription and receive appropri-ate follow-up care. I consider this a matter of public health.
But, even through the dark lenses, the view is becoming rosier, especially when I think about more than 2,300 students and recent graduates—the future of optometry—making their voices heard at a rally on Capitol Hill during Optometry’s Meet-ing in Washington, DC, last month. I also take heart when I think of students and member doctors who attended more than 250 meetings and events with Senators, House mem-bers and staff to urge them to support legislation that would protect optometrists from anticompetitive practices and dis-crimination from health insurers, and to urge the Federal Trade Commission to impose new paperwork burdens on ODs, all in the name of proving that they allow their patients to shop for contact lenses where they wish.
As you can read about in “Buzz” (page 10) the AOA has launched its Health Policy Institute, a public policy think tank, while Johnson & Johnson Vision has launched its Advocacy Academy virtual learning tool.
As I hear of more ODs—individually and collectively—mak-ing their voices heard to protect their patients and practices, those glasses will continue to grow brighter.
Jeffrey Eisenberg | Editor-In-Chief | JE@VisionCareProducts.com