Legislative Advocacy - California Optometric Association
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Eye Help for the Public


Legislative Advocacy

The California Optometric Association is about improving access to eye healthcare throughout California. This is your opportunity to Give voice, Create change, Achieve goals and Ensure the future.




  • Refraction / Prescribed glasses and contact lenses
  • Visual efficiency/vision therapy
  • Dilate eyes and diagnose suspected ocular pathology and refer
  • Diagnose suspected glaucoma and refer
  • Refer majority of emergency patients for treatment
  • Refer cataract patients for surgery and pray they come back
  • Stop seeing patients who turned 65 who had Medicare
  • Not bill the patient’s medical insurance for services


  • Refraction / Prescribed glasses and contact lenses
  • Visual efficiency/vision therapy
  • Treat infections/corneal ulcers, write prescriptions
  • Diagnose and treat glaucoma
  • Co-manage surgical patients cataracts/refractive
  • Foreign body removal / epilation / punctal plugs
  • Monitor macular degeneration and other macular pathology
  • Measure blood pressure and counsel patients
  • Examine, diagnose and treat emergency patients
  • Get paid for the medical services provided by Medicare and PPO insurance


1978  Legislation passed to allow DFE

1986  Medicare parity throughout the United States

1993  First attempt at therapeutics bill/failed

2001  First past therapeutics bill/foreign body removal and infection treatment and an essentially insurmountable glaucoma treatment pathway

2008   Second therapeutics bill passed with attainable glaucoma treatment

2010   ACA passed with Harkin amendment

2014   Third therapeutics bill to redefine optometry – SB492

1986 – 2014  Numerous attempts to roll back the clock or limit optometry or allow refraction by opticians defeated

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