May 16, 2007
House Reps Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) were lauded by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) for reintroducing The Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit Act (H.R. 2329) during Hearing on the Hill, an annual event that celebrates Better Hearing and Speech Month.
H.R. 2329 will provide a tax credit once every five years of up to $500 toward the purchase of a hearing aid. The tax credit will be available to individuals aged 55 and older as well as dependents of taxpayers.
“ASHA has been actively advocating for this bill,” Dr. Noma Anderson, ASHA president, says. “Financial constraints are cited as a core reason many Americans do not use hearing aids. Hearing aids are currently not covered under Medicare, or under the vast majority of state mandated benefits. This bill will help those affected come closer to being able to purchase these much-needed devices.”
The bill is also designed to help children, a group for whom hearing loss often goes undiagnosed. Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent birth defects in the United States, affecting two to three infants per 1,000 births. More than one million children have hearing loss, according to the Better Hearing Institute. Children can be fitted with hearing aids soon after birth. For those who do not receive early intervention, overall lifetime costs for special education, lost wages, and health complications are close to $1 million each.
Learn more about ASHA at asha.org
Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association