Advocacy Update

Sept. 30, 2022: State Advocacy Update


California Governor Newsom stood up for California patients by vetoing A.B. 2236. The bill would have allowed optometrists to perform advanced eye procedures, including surgery, after completing additional training.

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The AMA stood alongside California Medical Association (CMA), California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (CAEPS) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) in opposing this dangerous legislation, citing the vast differences in the education and training of ophthalmologists (MDs and DOs) and optometrists (ODs) in letters to the legislature (PDF) and Governor Newsom (PDF).  

Medicine’s opposition was noticed. In his letter (PDF), Governor Newsom stated, “I am not convinced that the education and training required is sufficient to prepare optometrists to perform the surgical procedures identified. This bill would allow optometrists to perform advanced surgical procedures with less than one year of training. In comparison, physicians who perform these procedures must complete at least a three year residency program.”

The AMA congratulates CMA, CAEPS and AAO on this important victory for California patients. This is an example of the power of organized medicine working together, including through the Scope of Practice Partnership (SOPP).       

The AMA, in an amicus brief, recently urged the Ohio Court of Appeals to overturn the conviction of a woman who was sentenced to 8 to 12 years in prison because of her use of illicit opioids during her pregnancy. The AMA joined with several other public health organizations, along with more than 30 physicians and other maternal health and child care experts, to emphasize that “[p]rosecuting women for drug use and pregnancy will deter pregnant women from seeking prenatal care, erodes trust in the medical system, and will increase the negative health ramifications of pregnant mothers and their families.” 

The case, Ohio v. Hollingshead, specifically concerns whether the Ohio criminal statute, “Corrupting Another with Drugs,” can be applied to women who use drugs during the course of their pregnancy. The AMA opposes legislation that criminalizes a pregnant individual who has a substance use disorder. This case presents a matter of first impression in Ohio.  

Read the full amicus brief (PDF).