Congress considers Vision Care for Kids Act

February 7, 2007

Washington, DC-The Vision Care for Kids Act of 2007, introduced in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, would provide eye exams and follow-up care for children who have been identified as needing vision-care services.

Washington, DC-The Vision Care for Kids Act of 2007, introduced in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, would provide eye exams and follow-up care for children who have been identified as needing vision-care services.

The legislation, which has bipartisan support, is backed by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, the American Optometric Association, Prevent Blindness America (PBA), and the Vision Council of America (VCA).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two-thirds of children in the United States do not receive eye-care services before their sixth birthday, despite the fact that 25% of preschoolers have vision problems.

“We are thrilled that the Vision Care for Kids Act of 2007 will close that gap for children who desperately need appropriate follow-up care to save their sight” if passed, said Daniel D. Garrett, senior vice president of PBA.

Michael Daley, chairman of the VCA Government Relations Committee, said, “The great part about this bill is that every state, no matter what the current requirements, can utilize these funds to reduce the number of students who fall through the cracks and enter school at a disadvantage. By putting an emphasis on follow-up, we can make sure that more children who need vision care get it.”

Identical versions of the bill were introduced concurrently in the Senate and House on Jan. 17. The VCA believes this “will expedite the legislative process and ensure that the bill’s intent is not compromised.”

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