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American Optometric Association Applauds Override of Medicare Cuts
Date:7/15/2008

OPTOMETRISTS LEAD WINNING PATIENT ACCESS COALITION

WASHINGTON, July 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Optometric Association (AOA) applauds Members of Congress from both parties for voting to override President Bush's veto of legislation passed to stop massive cuts in the Medicare program.

Concerned optometrists from across the country have been calling Capitol Hill to urge their representatives in Congress to safeguard patient access to eye and vision care through Medicare. In spite of the President's veto earlier today, Congress has voted by an overwhelming majority to ensure that the AOA-backed bill to save Medicare is the law.

H.R. 6331 prevents a looming 10.6 percent cut in Medicare payments to physicians and managed care plans and halts misguided new regulations governing durable medical equipment (DME) accreditation.

"Congress heard us loud and clear. Massive Medicare cuts would have severely hampered our mission to ensure that America's seniors have access to quality and affordable eye care. I'm proud of the role that optometry played in averting a Medicare meltdown and protecting patient access to care," said Dr. Peter Kehoe, O.D., AOA President.

The American Optometric Association is committed to increasing access to eye care for America's families, including working men and women, military service personnel, veterans, seniors and school-aged children. Comprehensive eye exams can help a child avoid school failure, lead to the diagnosis of other health problems in older Americans and help ensure that treatable diseases are caught early. Healthy vision is critical for everyone.

In addition to blocking the 10.6 percent cut, the measure also prevents the 5 percent pay cut scheduled to begin Jan 1, 2009. The bill also extends a 0.5 percent payment update through December 31, 2008 and provides a positive update of 1.1 percent for 2009 while blocking implementation of a proposed DMEPOS (durable me
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SOURCE The American Optometric Association
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