FEBRUARY 27, 2024

Prevent Blindness Logo - Our Vision is Vision

FY 2024 and FY 2025 Congressional Legislative and Appropriations Update

US Capitol Building/Capitol Hill

It is nearly 6 months into the federal fiscal year for 2024, and Congress has still not agreed on funding bills for federal public health programs, including the vision and eye health programs that Prevent Blindness advocates for at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is a long and short version in the form of a nearly 7:00 video from the Coalition for Health Funding to explain why Congress continues to drag out funding bill negotiations nearly halfway through the existing fiscal year, but the best explanation is offered by the lyrics of a Four Non-Blondes song that you may be familiar with: “I say hey, what’s going on!?”

Nonetheless, as Congress faces two critical funding deadlines of March 1 and March 8 to complete this work, Prevent Blindness is moving forward with advocating lawmakers for the CDC’s Vision and Eye Health program and Glaucoma programs for Fiscal year 2025 while also urging Congress to finish the job on FY 2024 appropriations by passing the Senate proposal for Vision and Eye Health and Glaucoma.

If our advocacy is successful, Vision and Eye Health and Glaucoma will be funded at $2.5 million and $4 million, respectively, for the remainder of 2024.  

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Vision Policy Update

Prevent Blindness Eyes on Capitol Hill

Prevent Blindness is an active participant in numerous coalitions and working groups that collectively work together to achieve various outcomes to legislation and other matters of public policy. Below are a few examples of our recent work on behalf of patients with vision loss, eye disease, and blindness.

A group of people are standing close together in front of a sign that says Welcome Vision Health Advocacy Coalition Stakeholders.
  • Prevent Blindness has endorsed a provision of H.R. 485, the Protecting Healthcare for All Patients Act, which would prohibit use of Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) in all federal health care programs, including Medicaid. However, Prevent Blindness joined our public health colleagues, including the Trust for America’s Health, to oppose the provisions of the legislation that would use the Prevention and Public Health Fund to pay for the bill’s provisions.
  • The National Health Council has an explainer on QALYs from November 2023.
  • Read Trust for America’s Health letter here.
  • Prevent Blindness government affairs staff attends the Vision Health Advocacy Coalition annual meeting in Washington, DC.
  • Prevent Blindness responds to a request for information from the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee at the Department of Health and Human Services on conditions that typically co-occur with autism.
  • Prevent Blindness joins the Save Rare Treatments Task Force to protect access to innovative treatments for rare eye disease patients.
  • Prevent Blindness joins 1,098 organizations to urge Congress against passing a full-year Continuing Resolution on Fiscal Year 2024 spending and finalize appropriations as soon as possible. 

Share Your Child’s Vision and Eye Health Story with Prevent Blindness!

Prevent Blindness is looking for parent advocates who are willing to share their story about their child’s journey to vision and eye care. This is a great opportunity for your story to be heard and to make a difference in the lives of parents, families, and children who face barriers to accessing vision and eye care. If you are also an adult but have a story to share about your personal journey with accessing vision and eye care, we welcome your story!

If you are interested, here’s how you can help:


The ASPECT Patient Engagement Program addresses the need to support individuals with vision loss, as well as their allies and advocates. Participating in ASPECT provides skills to become an advocate for change. 

Spotlight: Melanie Bush, O&M Specialist, ASPECT Cohort 7

Melanie Bush, O&M Specialist

Melanie Bush is an Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Specialist in Montana, and a member of the ASPECT cohort 7.

"It is a blessing to work with people who experience vision loss," she proudly states. With 25 years of service in this field, Melanie teaches her clients how to use their cane for mobility purposes, equipping them to travel safely, efficiently and purposefully. Her proudest achievements were supporting a 2-year-old and a 92-year-old successful clients. Her ability to provide intergenerational care is a noble skill.

Read Melanie's Story

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