WASHINGTON, DC, March 19, 2009 — Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) today reintroduced the bipartisan Hearing Aid Tax Credit (H.R. 1646) along with Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-MI) and a record number of original co-sponsors, including 8 members of the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill, with the addition of a $200,000/year income eligibility cap, is otherwise unchanged from legislation in the 110th Congress that attracted 112 co-sponsors by the end of the session.
The Hearing Aid Tax Credit would provide assistance to many of the 31.5 million people who need hearing aids to treat their hearing loss. Medicare expressly excludes coverage of hearing aids as do most private insurance policies, and as a result, cost is cited as a prohibitive factor by two thirds of the people who do not treat their hearing loss. If enacted, H.R. 1646 would provide a $500 tax credit per hearing aid for children and people age 55 and older. While hearing aids can treat 95% of all hearing losses, only 22% of those who could benefit from them actually use them. Read the complete press release [View PDF]