Did you know that 80 percent of children who fail a vision screening don't get the follow-up care they need? A lot of children don't have health insurance. Those who do often lack vision and eye care coverage.

The implications reach far beyond the risk that children won't be able to see the blackboard clearly. Some early childhood conditions can cause total blindness, but many are treatable if caught in time. For example, an uncorrected lazy eye is the number one cause of vision loss in young Americans.

The Vision Care for Kids Act (H.R. 507), which the House passed Monday, authorizes a new grant program to complement state efforts to make sure children get the follow-up care that can save their vision. The bill is designed to spend scarce health care dollars in the wisest manner possible; it focuses on children under the age of nine in order to address vision problems before they become serious vision disorders.

The Vision Care for Kids Act is the second major piece of vision legislation to come out of the Vision Caucus.