Prevent Blindness Gathers Delegates from Across the Country to Educate Policymakers on the Importance of Supporting Vision and Eye Health

Prevent Blindness will be holding its fourteenth annual “Eyes on Capitol Hill” advocacy day on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in Washington, D.C.  The event brings together those who have been affected by vision issues with government representatives and their staff members, to discuss the importance of vision programs and funding requests that save sight. A reception for the Congressional Vision Caucus will be held the evening of this Capitol Hill event.

According to the recent Prevent Blindness study “The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems,” vision impairments are projected to cost the United States $167 billion in 2019, due in large part to the aging population. Yet, for every $18,600 that vision problems cost the country, only a single dollar is allocated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) toward their prevention. Annual costs are projected to increase to $717 billion by 2050 without significant investments in vision and eye health.

This year’s Eyes on Capitol Hill advocates will ask elected officials to:

-Invest $5 million in funding for the CDC’s Vision Health Initiative to conduct much-needed surveillance.

-Maintain the CDC’s work in glaucoma prevention and awareness with $4 million. 

-Provide $850 million to the National Eye Institute (NEI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“Vision and eye health play a direct role in a child’s healthy development and learning readiness, a working-age adult’s ability to be productive and remain healthy, and a senior’s ability to live independently,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “By funding vision research, preventive services and basic healthcare needs today, we can actually save millions of dollars in the future.”

On Wed., July 17, all Eyes on Capitol Hill delegates will attend the eighth annual Focus on Eye Health National Summit at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

For more information on Eyes on Capitol Hill, the Congressional Vision Caucus reception, or Prevent Blindness and its advocacy initiatives, please call (800) 331-2020 or visit https://www.preventblindness.org/advocacy-prevent-blindness.

Download a copy of the 2019 Eyes on Capitol Hill press release.