Tell Your U.S. Senators Bennet-Barrasso Physician Aid Bill MUST be Included in COVID-19 Relief Package - Vote Today!

With leading U.S. senators now deciding which provisions will ultimately make it into the COVID-19 emergency relief package Congress is scheduled to vote on later today, the AOA is urging all doctors and students to call their senators this morning to demand that Congress provide immediate and desperately needed relief for struggling doctors of optometry and other frontline physicians across the nation.

Working closely with the AOA, Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and John Barrasso, MD (R-WY) have introduced key legislation (S. 3559) which would provide doctors of optometry and other physicians with the immediate resources they need right now to stay on the frontlines caring for their communities during this unprecedented crisis.

Sens. Smith (D-MN), Gardner (R-CO), Jones (D-AL) and Hyde-Smith (R-MS) have joined as original co-sponsors of S. 3559 and Sens. King (I-ME), Roberts (R-KS), Sinema (D-AZ), and Loeffler (R-GA) have since added their name to the growing list of supporters.

To take action today, doctors and students should call the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202-224-3121, ask to be connected with the offices of your U.S. senators, and urge that your senators:
1) co-sponsor S. 3559 and
2) tell Senate leadership that they support inclusion of S. 3559 within the COVID-19 relief package Congress is now considering.

Please include relevant information about the challenges your office is facing under these crisis conditions and about the increasingly vital health care role doctors of optometry play. Suggested telephone message for doctors and students to use to call their senator(s):

  • Thank you for taking my call. I appreciate your service to the public at this difficult time and all that you and the Senator are doing to support our state during this national emergency.
  • I am a Doctor of Optometry practicing in ___________________________. I deliver essential, primary eye health and vision care to working men and women, school-aged children and seniors, and my practice employs ____________.
  • Right now, our health care practices are getting hit doubly hard during this current crisis as they continue struggling to keep up with patient care needs and the demands of keeping our offices running and workers employed. More and more are closing by the day, likely for good.
  • Please let the Senator know that I called to ask for him/her to co-sponsor S. 3559 and support inclusion of S. 3559 in the COVID-19 relief package now being considered. This will help doctors of optometry like me and other physicians now struggling to stay on the health care frontlines caring for our neighbors and keeping them healthy and employed.
  • Thank you.
    After taking action, doctors and students should contact AOA Advocacy staffer Matt Willette ([email protected]) with any important outreach updates and/or needed follow-up with lawmaker offices.