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Research into Age-related Macular Degeneration

Write Your Representatives

Let’s mobilize to ask Washington for better access for all Americans with macular degeneration and low vision!

Fill out the form letter below with your information and your personalized message (you can edit the subject line, and add your own message to the “message body” field) to demand better access to research, assistive services and devices, and transportation. To see the full text of the form letter’s content, scroll below the form.

Letter content

As a constituent concerned about the growth of vision loss in our country, and as someone impacted by Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), I write to urge you during February’s AMD Awareness Month to prioritize vision research funding and address critical challenges faced by the AMD community.

Vision disorders cost the U.S. with over $177B annually, projected to skyrocket to $717B by 2050 as eye disease is projected to double. Meanwhile, we invest only $2.53 per person per year in vision research, a stark contrast to the $6,680 spent per person with low vision or blindness. Increased research funding and better treatments and cures can help reign in these soaring costs.

Additionally, vision loss is currently the only disability for which assistive devices are not covered.
While National Eye Institute (NEI)funding has grown in recent years, it struggles to keep pace with rising research costs and the growing burden of vision loss. Today’s $896.5M allocation falls short of pre-sequester levels when adjusted for inflation.

Members of the AMD community will be in DC on February 29 for Access in Sight Day. There will be a Congressional Briefing from 12-1PM ET in Rayburn Room 2045.

I request that at least a member of your staff attend the Congressional Briefing to learn about the State of Macular Degeneration in the United States. Your office’s attendance will be recognized and reported to constituents via the American Macular Degeneration Foundation’s website and email.

Further action steps:

  • As Congress crafts FY24 appropriations for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), I urge you to prioritize investment in vision research by funding NIH at no less than $50.924B. This includes robust support for the NEI at $975M.
  • Please also support S. 842 and H.R. 33, the Medicare and Medicaid Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefit Act of 2023, which would expand Medicare coverage for assistive devices and services.
  • Support funding for the ongoing collection of national eye health data, through the CDC, at $2.5M. This data can inform beneficial programs.
  • At the state level, I urge your support to improve the guidelines necessary for volunteer-driver transportation services to survive. Currently, these services are charged high insurance premiums at the same rate as for-profit services like Uber and Lyft.

By prioritizing vision research funding, and access to treatment, services, and assistive devices, we can empower individuals with AMD and pave the way for cost-saving breakthroughs that benefit all Americans.

Thank you for considering my request.