By Dave Smriga, M.A., Vice-President, Corporate Communications, AUDNET Hearing Group
World Hearing Day, sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) is held on March 3. This international focus on hearing is an opportuity for us to engage in a true “grass roots” effort to educate our federal legislators that Section 602 of the Dec. 12 H.R.3 legislation passed by the U.S. House reinforces a false and scientifically invalid narrative that mild-to-moderate hearing loss and severe-to-profound hearing loss are two distinct categories when it comes to legislative treatments. On March 3, consider sending the following to YOUR state’s federal legislators:
On this day when the World Health Organization focuses on the importance of hearing and proper hearing health treatments globally, it seems appropriate to point out that in the recent H.R.3 legislation passed by the house on Dec. 12, Section 602 of that bill promotes an incorrect view that mild-to-moderate hearing loss and severe-to-profound hearing loss are two distinct categories requiring two distinct legislative treatments. (The bill proposes a hearing aid benefit only for those with severe-to-profound hearing loss.) There is no scientific evidence supporting the notion that degree of hearing loss dictates the economic need of a Medicare recipient. And, there is no scientific evidence to indicate that individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss require less or no professional care to effectively treat their condition. When you consider the numerous comorbidities and brain changes now inexorably tied to any degree of hearing loss, you must not support legislative language that draws an arbitrary and indefensible line between those that deserve affordable and effective treatment and those that don’t. I ask you to re-visit this language and its intent, and work to build a needed Medicare benefit for all of those that need it.
You can use this link to identify how to contact your elected officials: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
This is not an effort coordinated by any professional association. It is a true grass-roots effort. And the more consumers and hearing health professionals who participate, the more this colleciton of individual voices from varied constituencies can make a difference.
Let’s make this year’s World Hearing Day mean something for tomorrow’s Medicare recipient.