From left: Arnie Altman, AG Bell Nevada; Nevada State Senator Terry
Care; Carole Rogin, HIA; Laura Richards, AG Bell Nevada; Rep. Shelley Berkley; Andy Bopp, HIA; and Corrine Altman, AG Bell Nevada

A supportive group of some 120 Las Vegas residents met recently to thank Rep Shelley Berkley (D-NV) for co-sponsoring the Hearing Aid Tax Credit (HR 2329) and urge her to champion the bill in the House.

Attendees voiced concern about how the lack of financial assistance for hearing aid treatment stands in the way of addressing their hearing loss. Berkley, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which determines the fate of tax legislation, pledged to fight for passage of the tax credit as part of overall tax legislation she anticipates in early 2009.

Berkley noted the tax credit would cover only a portion of the cost of hearing aid treatment, but says it is important to make headway with the legislation and strive to increase the amount in the future. Nevada State Senator Terry Care, who championed the state’s
Early Hearing Detection and Intervention legislation, introduced Berkley to the crowd.

The event was hosted by the Nevada Chapter of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell), a local volunteer organization that helps parents and those with hearing loss. Arnie and Corrine Altman, co-presidents of the chapter, organized the program.

Local AG Bell chapters and the Hearing Loss Association of America have hosted similar events for Representatives in Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas to highlight problems created by the lack of financial assistance for those who need hearing aids. The meeting was sponsored by the Hearing Industries Association(HIA).