Glaucoma is a devastating and debilitating disease, and is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. It affects an estimated 60,000 people in Massachusetts, and 3 million nationally. Many of these patients are elderly, or minorities living in underserved areas. Under current law, patients diagnosed with glaucoma are forced to go see a different practitioner, pay additional co-pays, and travel greater distances to receive treatment. Patients and constituents are sending a loud and clear message to Beacon Hill that these unnecessary barriers to care need to be removed.
The media has noticed the attention the Glaucoma Bill has created--the Boston Globe penned a Sunday lead editorial strongly supporting the bill and the changes it would bring to healthcare in Massachusetts. This editorial was followed by a letter to the editor strongly advocating that the bill be passed to help underserved populations. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette has also reported favorably on the bill.
The United Stated Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission both came out in support of the bill, writing a joint letter recommending that the legislation be passed, to remove unnecessary restrictions on treatment options in Massachusetts.
A Change.org petition has collected over 1,200 signatures in support of this legislation in just over a month.
Constituents are continuing to make their voices heard on this issue. The Massachusetts legislature has until July 31, the end of the formal legislative decision, to pass this bill.