On January 10, 2010 we posted an entry which reflected what most Americans believed at the time. Health Care Reform was dead. With the passing of Health Care Reform yesterday, it is no longer a question of "Will Health Care Reform affect optometry?" Today, it is "How does Health Care Reform affect optometry?"
Included in this bill is the Harkin Amendment which prohibits third party payers from discriminating against optometrists. AOA President Randolph Brooks, O.D. was quoted in an AOA Press Release on March 21, 2010:
"The approval of the Harkin Amendment is a tremendous victory for optometry and will likely prove to be one of the most historic advances in patient access to optometric care since the 1986 recognition of optometrists as physicians under Medicare," said AOA President Randolph Brooks, O.D. "AOA's top priority in Washington, D.C. throughout this process has been to expand patient access and put a stop to the health plan discrimination we have faced for too long. Today, thanks to Senator Harkin and other "access-to-care" leaders in Congress, organized medicine and every health plan in America, including ERISA plans, are on notice that their unfair restrictions to the full scope of eye health care we provide are ending."
One question remains. "Will Health Care Reform, along with the Harkin Amendment, increase the importance of Optometry Board Certification and Maintenance of Certification?"