The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017. With the passage of this groundbreaking legislation Congress has sent a message to America that people with hearing loss need – and deserve – more affordable and accessible hearing health care. The Senate should be voting on the bill before the end of the summer.
HLAA and the Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) are working together to better serve our constituents’ needs and raise awareness of the effects of hearing loss. To get to know you better, HLAA and HHF have collaborated on a survey to learn a little more about you and your hearing loss.
June 16, 2017 marks the final issue of This Week in Bethesda (TWIB). TWIB is being discontinued in preparation for a new, expanded version of our e-News publications. Stay tuned, more information on these exciting changes will be coming in July!
Members of Congress Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Make
Hearing Aids Available Over the Counter
Washington, D.C., March 21, 2017: - U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), today reintroduced legislation (S.670) to make hearing aids for those with mild to moderate hearing loss available over the counter (OTC).
The first recommendation of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) report Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability is to “Improve population-based information on hearing loss and hearing health care.” In short, we need more information and data about hearing loss to have a better understanding of, at a minimum, risk factors associated with hearing loss, hearing health care needs, and the impact of hearing loss and its treatment on health, function, economic productivity and quality of life.
On January 5, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau announced the members selected for the second term of the Disability Advisory Committee (DAC). Lise Hamlin, HLAA director of public policy, will co-chair the DAC along with Sam Joehl, principal technical consultant for the SSB BART Group.
Since 2003 HLAA has supported legislation that would allow consumers to receive a tax credit for the purchase of hearing aids. Several iterations of the tax credit bill have been introduced over the span of nearly 14 years, and none have passed. HLAA has therefore decided to focus its efforts and resources on initiatives that we believe will have a more far-reaching impact.