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Budget Restores Crucial Medi-Cal Eyeglass Benefit

Optometrists pushed for coverage to save sight, lives and limbs.

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(PRESS RELEASE) SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Optometric Association released the following statement from President Ronald G. Seger O.D., F.A.A.O., in response to the 2019 – 2020 state budget passed by the legislature today and expected to be signed by Governor Gavin Newsom:

“California’s doctors of optometry applaud Governor Newsom and California’s legislators for recognizing the opportunity to improve sight and save lives by restoring eyeglasses and vision aid coverage for adults participating in Medi-Cal.

“Optometrists championed this crucial budget investment because eyeglasses not only help our seniors, people with disabilities and people with low incomes drive safely, read, and work, but also help connect more Californians with essential eye examinations that can save lives and limbs. Eye doctors know firsthand that when Californians don’t have eyeglass coverage, they are more likely to skip necessary comprehensive eye exams, leaving chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension undetected. We are proud to have worked alongside patient advocates to raise this issue to the forefront of budget discussions with the goal of increasing early detection, connecting patients with care needed to manage conditions like diabetes and heart disease, and preventing severe systemic complications ranging from blindness to amputations.

“Doctors of optometry have a clear, 20/20 vision that integrates eye care into a healthcare system focused on prevention to bridge health care gaps for disadvantaged communities. This state budget investment is an important step forward to improve sight and create healthy lives.”

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