*Below is an update from HLAA. PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATIVES AND URGE THEM TO INCLUDE COVERAGE FOR HEARING SERVICES AND EQUIPMENT
Health Care Reform
July 17, 2009 ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to include Hearing Health Care in Health Care Reform! Congress released two versions of the long awaited health care bills this week. In the U.S. House of Representatives, The Affordable Health Choices Act, H.R. 3200 was passed out of both the Ways and Means Committee and the House Education & Labor Committee. It has over 1,000 pages and “hearing” is mentioned once under Minimum Services to be covered:
Well baby and well child care and oral health, vision, and hearing services, equipment, and supplies at least for children under 21 years of age.
HLAA has faxed letters to the chairmen of the Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, Education and Labor Committees applauding the inclusion of coverage for children but urging them to expand hearing coverage to all Americans.
The Senate bill released July 16 does not have a number and does not include any mention of coverage for hearing health care, hearing services or equipment. A second bill may well be released by the Senate sometime soon.
There is much work to be done on this issue. These bills are by no means the last word – there is still time for changes to be made. Now is the time to write or call or fax your own Congressional Representative and Senators, urging them to include coverage for hearing services and equipment for children at the very least and expanding to everyone at best. Let’s make sure we are not forgotten by Congress!
Update: We’ve had a huge success. As of July 17, 2009 over 2,000 people have signed on to our letter to President Obama to make hearing health a priority. The timing of the release was good with Congress releasing the health care bills the same week. If you have not already signed the letter please do so by submitting the online form today.
How to send a letter to Congress: Find your representative from the US House of Representatives by visiting the website (you can search by state or by the name of your representative) http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.shtml
To find the email addresses of your US Senators, http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Send an email or fax, but be sure to make it formal, including the date, your name and address. Check the link to the letter Hearing Loss Association sent to the Chairman of the House Committee on Ways & Means and feel free to use some of our comments in your letter. Do add your personal story, but keep it short, and let Congress know you want hearing health care coverage!