Have you heard of the “not-a-doctor” bill? Florida Senate Bill 230 now sits on the Governor’s desk and optometry’s voice needs to be heard.
Senate Bill 230 was passed without the inclusion of optometry. If this bill becomes law, it will have far reaching negative effects on the profession of optometry but optometry needs to make its voice heard.
Not just Florida licensed members but all ODs should get involve!
Please keep all comments respectful. Below are some talking points to consider when writing your message:
I respectfully request for you to VETO SB 230
SB 230 discriminates against and clearly disparages the profession of optometry in the state of Florida
This is a punitive bill against optometrists who provide 85% of the primary eye care to the citizens or Florida and will create more confusion for the patients we care for every day
Negative impact this will have on small business/optometric practices
Optometrists have received recognition as “physicians” in the Federal Register, from CMS and Florida Medicaid but with this bill optometrists will be charged with a felony if they use the term optometric physician
Extensive investment of time and money to earn a 4 year doctoral level degree, Doctor of Optometry, but will not be able to use the term optometric physician like the chiropractic physicians, podiatric physicians, and dentists that also earn their degrees in 4 years or less.
Undue expense of reprinting all letterhead, business cards, brochures, door signage, clinic coats, etc. and scrubbing websites and other platforms of doctor and optometric physician
Sample letter below for reference.
This is NOT just a Florida problem but will impact the well-being of the entire profession. There are 7 current states with similar “not-a-doctor” bills proposed.
AOA and state affiliates rally to decry and defeat discriminatory ‘not-a-doctor’ bills
Doctors of optometry have long been recognized by federal agencies as physicians. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid did so in 1986. They also are referred to as physicians under Federal Employees Workers Compensation, as they are at rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers.
My name is Dr. xxx. SB 230 attempts to disparage my profession and my education by not allowing optometrists to call themselves a doctor or physician. Upon graduating a 4-year accredited school of optometry with a degree of “doctor of optometry”, this bill unnecessarily impacts my profession, my ability to care for my patients, and can severely impact access to care for patients in my community.
I respectfully request that you do not sign this bill or any other unnecessary and antagonistic bills into law.
Sincerely, Dr. ________
Call to action – your voice can make a difference!