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AOA Congressional Advocacy Conference

posted Sep 26, 2013, 7:13 PM by Jen Weigel   [ updated Sep 26, 2013, 7:22 PM ]
I was happy to return to the Hill for the AOA Congressional Advocacy Conference for the second time as a Delegate this September 10 - 11, 2013, in Washington, DC.

As you know, political involvement is vital to our profession.  Our current professional privileges are the result of past legislative advocacy.  Could you imagine not being able to use dilation drops or prescribe steroids?  Could you imagine those abilities being taken away from you?

At this year's CAC, we discussed legislative priorities in order to prepare for our visits to congressional representatives on the last day of the conference.  One particular issue that I was surprised to see is that we are fighting for optometric parity for Medicaid at the federal level.  We have parity for Medicare, but the same does not exist for Medicaid at the federal level.  In VA, we have state-level protections to allow our patients to access optometric care if they chose to do so, but other states are not so lucky.

I was so nervous when my SCO second-year student, Haley, and I went to visit Representative Moran's liaison.  This was the first time that I have flown solo on a legislative visit!  Thank goodness our liaison was so nice.  She really helped make it a great experience.  - jw

AOA Congressional Conference