Congress has released its long-awaited Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 spending legislation, which includes a total of $6.5 million for vision and eye health programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In particular, the omnibus spending legislation would fund the Vision Health Initiative (VHI) at $2.5 million in FY2023 – a $1 million increase over FY2022. The increase would fund efforts to update national prevalence estimates on vision impairment and eye disease. The CDC’s Glaucoma project, which funds community-based programs that connect high-risk patients to eye care, would continue to be funded at $4 million. The VHI’s funding level would be at its highest since FY2010.
“Prevent Blindness applauds Congress for investing in vision and eye health programs at the CDC,” said Jeff Todd, President and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “This investment in the CDC’s surveillance capacity will lead to a stronger understanding of how vision loss intersects with other chronic health conditions, population demographics, and social determinants of health and will improve early detection and intervention approaches that intersect with chronic disease management and prevention, aging health, childhood development, mental health services, and referral to care and care coordination.”
Currently, the federal government is operating on a continuing resolution (which funds programs at FY2022 levels) through at least December 23, 2022. Prevent Blindness urges Congress to pass a final FY 2023 bill as swiftly as possible.