Coalition Letters and Legislation

Prevent Blindness proudly stands alongside our colleagues across the health spectrum to promote policies that improve our national health and well-being. Many groups have mutual policy goals in areas that often overlap with vision and eye health; for example, ensuring patients can access safe and effective drugs, increasing the budget on federal public health and medical research programs, or improving the health of our nation’s seniors through strong community networks. In advocacy, there is strength in numbers, and our strong coalition partnerships help us achieve policy goals that would be too difficult to take on as a singular effort. For more information on issues which Prevent Blindness leads, please visit our Advocacy Initiatives page.

August 11: Prevent Blindness joins letter urging comprehensive health coverage in COVID-19 response legislation

July 22: National Head Start letter urges Congress to direct $1.7 billion to Head Start to ensure children receive basic care during COVID-19 pandemic

July 21: Public health community opposes Administration’s efforts to bypass CDC in COVID-19 data collection and analysis

July 21: Prevent Blindness joins ASP Coalition letter to HHS Secretary Azar to remove step therapy and prior authorization policies on Part B drugs in Medicare Advantage

July 16: 89 organizations advocate for H.R. 6561, the Improving Social Determinants of Health Act to be included in COVID-19 legislation

July 13: Nonprofit organizations urge “Relief for Charities” in CARES Act

July 10: Public health advocates urge Secretary Azar to extend public health emergency for additional 90 days

July 2: Prevent Blindness joins public health community to advocate for $4.5 billion investment in additional annual funding for public health data infrastructure

June 25: Children’s Budget Coalition recommends Congress prioritize children’s programs in FY2021 appropriations

May 29: Prevent Blindness endorses legislation to establish a Healthy Aging program and national COVID-19 resource center for older adults at the CDC

May 19: National Health Council submits comments on CMS Interim Final Rule requesting additional flexibilities for patients receiving care at home during public health emergencyMay 19: National Health Council Letter to CMS Administrator Verma regarding home administration for Part B drugs

May 18: Prevent Blindness endorses H.R. 6561, the Improving Social Determinants of Health Act of 2020

May 7: Letter to House and Senate leaders supporting $100 million to CDC’s “Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies” program

April 22: Families USA letter urging Congress to secure healthcare access and coverage for families and children during COVID-19 crisis

April 16: 372 organizations, including Prevent Blindness, support strong 302(b) allocation to FY2021 Labor-HHS-Ed. bill

April 15: Prevent Blindness joins Public Health Workforce Coalition

April 13: Letter to HHS Office of Civil Rights requesting urgent guidance on COVID-19 resource allocation

April 10: Prevent Blindness joins American Council of the Blind coalition letter to urge Congress to protect voting rights for Americans with disabilities

April 8: Nonprofit community letter to Congress urging relief for nonprofit organizations in CARES Act

April 6: Coalition for Health Funding letter to Congress outlining priorities for COVID-19 relief legislation

April 3: Public health community recommends $4.5 billion to modernize public health data infrastructure

April 3: Prevent Blindness joins over 200 organizations calling on the Administration to provide PPE, including protective eyewear, to front line responders

March 30: Prevent Blindness endorses NCOA efforts to secure $14 million in FY2021 for falls prevention efforts, as recommended by Senate Aging Committee

March 27: Trust for America’s Health recommendations on addressing older adults’ needs during COVID-19 pandemic

March 25: 212 organizations call on Congress to safeguard patient access to medication during COVID-19 pandemic

March 24: Prevent Blindness supports $40 million in FY2021 for public health surveillance for mothers and babies

March 23: Families USA letter requesting state and local relief to safeguard Medicaid programs

March 20: National Health Council letter to Congress to include nonprofit organization assistance in economic stimulus funding

December 20: Congress Passes FY2020 Appropriations Legislation

December 13: House Passes Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019

December 2: Prevent Blindness supports $10 million in FY2020 for CDC’s Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies program

November 5: Prevent Blindness endorses H.R. 4334, the Dignity in Aging Act, and encourages swift reauthorization of the Older Americans Act

November 1: Friends of HRSA Coalition letter supporting HRSA funding in FY2020 appropriations conference

October 23: CDC Coalition letter supporting CDC funding in FY2020 appropriations conference

October 11: Statement Regarding Resolution SCR-73 Passed by the California State Legislature

October 3: Children’s Budget Coalition letter supporting strong top-line spending levels for federal children’s programs

September 20: Senate FY2020 Labor-HHS-Ed. Appropriations Bill Fails to Restore CDC’s Vision Health Initiative

September 9: Prevent Blindness joins over 395 patient and provider organizations to endorse legislation to protect patients from harmful prior authorization policie

September 5: Prevent Blindness endorses Grassley-Casey legislation to expand telehealth services for chronic eye disease in Medicare

August 13: I Am Essential Coalition letter regarding HHS proposals to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act

June 26: Prevent Blindness asks Senate Aging Committee integrate vision and eye health into elderly falls prevention strategies and policies

June 24: Prevent Blindness joins 32 organizations to endorse reauthorization of the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2019

June 18: Prevent Blindness joins 180 organizations to endorse the Public Health Funding Restoration Act, which would replenish the Prevention and Public Health Fund

June 17: Vision organizations, including Prevent Blindness, oppose Administration’s proposed 25% tariffs on optical products imported from China

June 10: Prevent Blindness endorses the Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s America (LIFT America Act)

June 3: Letter to Senate Appropriators requesting $76.95 million in FY2020 to the CDC’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program

May 14: Prevent Blindness endorses reauthorization of the School-Based Health Centers program

May 1:  House Appropriations Committee agreed on legislation to fund programs under the Department of Health and Human Services​

April 1: Coalition of 550 organizations, including Prevent Blindness and affiliates, urge Congress to raise non-defense discretionary spending levels over FY2019 allocations

March 27: Prevent Blindness joins 80 organizations in support of $1 billion over 10 years to the CDC to update national public health infrastructure and surveillance systems

March 20: Friends of HRSA Coalition requests $8.56 billion to the Health Resources and Services Administration in FY2020

March 19: Prevent Blindness joins Friends of the National Center for Health Statistics FY2020 request for $175 million

March 8: Friends of Title V Requests $698 million for Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant

March 7: Prevent Blindness supports $76.95 million for CDC’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program in FY2020

March 6: Prevent Blindness expresses concern to HHS Secretary Alex Azar regarding impact of Section 1115 waivers on Medicaid access and services

March 4: CDC Coalition asks Congress to fund CDC at $7.8 billion in FY2020

March 4: Prevent Blindness endorses CDC Coalition’s FY2020 program level request for $7.8 billion to CDC

Feb. 10: I Am Essential Coalition letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma regarding essential health benefits

January 25: Letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma regarding step therapy for Part B drugs in Medicare Advantage plans

January 22: Vision 2020/USA Letter to Surgeon General

December 31: Prevent Blindness to CMS: Part B model proposed rule needs to include clear, specific patient protections relating to access and costs to patients

December 10: 340 patient groups, including Prevent Blindness, advise Congressional leadership of serious concerns with the direction of the Medicare Part B “International Pricing Index” model

October 4: Prevent Blindness with 111 patient and provider groups addresses HHS Secretary Azar regarding use of health funding transfers to care for unaccompanied migrant children and recommends a budget request to Congress

October 1: FY 2019 Spending Law Includes Funding for Vision and Eye Health

September 26: National Health Council letter to HHS Sec. Azar includes Prevent Blindness and affiliates among 90 patient groups making recommendations on patient protections under MA step therapy policy

September 12: Prevent Blindness joins 239 patient and provider groups to urge Congress to ask CMS to reconsider their MA “step therapy” policy

July 16: Prevent Blindness joins PAN Foundation-led patient advocacy coalition letter responding to President’s drug pricing plan

June 25: Prevent Blindness joins March of Dimes coalition letter endorsing reauthorization of the PREEMIE Act

June 21: Prevent Blindness joins 140 organizations asking Congress to support the CDC’s REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) Program in FY19

June 18: Prevent Blindness asks Congress to fund CDC’s REACH Program in FY2019

June 5: Prevent Blindness letter to Congress opposing rescission of CHIP contingency funds

May 31: Prevent Blindness asks Senate appropriators to address vision and eye health in Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations

April 23: Prevent Blindness sends letter to CMS opposing Administration’s Short-Term Limited Duration Health Plans Proposed Rule

April 23: Prevent Blindnes joins 106 patient groups in a coalition letter to Secretaries Azar, Acosta, and Mnuchin

April 4: Prevent Blindness Endorses Association of State and Territorial Health Officials campaign to increase CDC funding 22% by 2022

April 3: Prevent Blindness joins the Friends of the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Program Coalition in asking Congress to appropriate $660 million for FY2019 MCH Block Grant

March 23: Prevent Blindness applauds Congress for Increasing FY18 investments to CDC’s vision health programs

March 6: Prevent Blindness joins 118 organizations asking Department of Labor to include essential health benefits in association health plans and short-term health plans

February 28: Prevent Blindness Statement for the Record to Ways and Means for FY2019 HHS Budget Request

February 16: Friends of HRSA Coalition Letter to House and Senate Appropriators requesting $7.48 billion in FY 2018 for HRSA

February 15: CDC Coalition Letter to House and Senate Appropriators requesting $7.8 billion in FY 2018 for the CDC

February 15: Prevent Blindness urges Congress to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program

January 16: Trust for America’s Health Letter to Congress opposing cuts to the CDC’s Prevention and Public Health Fund

December 21: CDC Coalition letter to Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan expressing concern over reports of CDC’s restrictions on use of 7 words

December 21: Prevent Blindness joins 1,000 organizations asking Congress to act quickly to extend Children’s Health Insurance Program for 5 years

November 20: Prevent Blindness joins 60 patient groups in a letter to Congressional tax reform conferees regarding health provisions in tax reform legislation

November 27: Prevent Blindness Letter to HHS on Essential Health Benefits rqeuirements

November 1: Prevent Blindness supports Veterans Administration proposal to expand telehealth

October 27: Letter to Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan regarding the FY2019 HHS Congressional Justification

October 3: Prevent Blindness letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee members requesting an extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program

September 25: Statement for the record to the Senate Finance Committee regarding the Graham-Cassidy-Johnson-Heller amendment

September 17: Trust for America’s Health letter of support for the CDC’s REACH program in FY2018 funding

September 5: Welcome letter to Jerome Adams, United States Surgeon General

September 5: Prevent Blindness, the only eye health organization on the March of Dimes’ Zika Coalition, signs coalition letter to House Appropriators supporting increased funding to support Zika birth defects surveillance efforts at the CDC

September: Prevent Blindness opposes Graham-Cassidy Bill

August 30: Coalition letter from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials to Senate Appropriations Committee members requesting increased funding for CDC and HRSA

April 26: Prevent Blindness supports maintaining Essential Health Benefits that include access to eye care for children

August 8: Welcome letter to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Brenda Fitzgerald

July 25: Prevent Blindness advocates for essential health benefits that includes children’s vision benefits

June 27: Congressional Vision Caucus “Dear Colleague” letter to House of Representatives

June 17: Prevent Blindness one of 500 public health organizations to send a letter to Senate leadership opposing elimination of the CDC’s Prevention and Public Health Fund

June 16: Welcome letter to Health Resources and Services Administration letter to newly-appointed Administrator George Sigounas

June 2: Prevent Blindness leads a coalition of 102 organizations on a letter to Senate leadership requesting the maintenance of “essential health benefits” as defined under the ACA in healthcare reform legislation

June 2: Prevent Blindness signs coalition letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committees to sustain FY2017 funding levels for the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

June 2: Prevent Blindness joins vision groups asking Senate leaders to retain essential health benefits in the Senate healthcare reform legislation

June 2: Testimony to Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on FY18 Labor-HHS appropriations

May 23: Recommendations to the Senate Finance Committee regarding healthcare reform legislation

March 17: Prevent Blindness letter to HHS Secretary Tom Price

February 10: “I Am Essential” Coalition letter to HHS Secretary Tom Price regarding the essential health benefits provision under ACA