Congressman Gene Green and the Vision Community Hail the Introduction of Compromise Childhood Vision Bill
January 29, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C. Congressman Gene Green (D-Houston) joined members of the vision community and congressional supporters at a press conference on the introduction of the Vision Care for Kids Act of 2007 (HR 507). The bill represents a compromise among the vision community on how to best utilize federal health care dollars to ensure that Americas children receive timely follow-up eye exams for potential vision disorders identified through vision screenings.
There is no question that too many of Americas children are going without much-needed vision care, said Congressman Gene Green, chief sponsor of HR 507 and co-chairman of the Congressional Vision Caucus. While many states require vision screenings for school-age children, there is little effort at the state level to ensure that at-risk children receive the comprehensive eye exams and any necessary follow-up treatment to prevent life-long vision impairment.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately two-thirds of children fail to receive preventive vision care before beginning elementary school. While thirty states have mandated vision screenings for children, nearly 80 percent of children who fail these screenings do not get the comprehensive eye exams or follow-up care they need.
A screening mandate doesnt amount to much if the child doesnt receive necessary follow-up care, continued Congressman Green. With the lack of health insurance a major barrier to follow-up care, we introduced this legislation to give states the resources to provide proper follow-up eye exams and treatment for uninsured children who are at high-risk for vision disorders.
Congressman Gene Green was joined today by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Optometric Association, the Vision Council of America and Prevent Blindness America, leading members of the vision community that have endorsed the Vision Care for Kids Act.