Rep DinaTitus (D-Nev) and children of AG Bell-NV members
Reps Dina Titus (D-Nev) and Ron Kind (D-Wis) showed their support for hearing health issues and the Hearing Aid Tax Credit (HR 1646) during events hosted by local Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) and AG Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) chapters during the August Congressional recess, according to a statement released by the Hearing Industries Association (HIA), Washington.
A record crowd of 200 Nevadans attended a brunch for Titus in Henderson, Nev on August 22, and 120 Wisconsin residents attended a luncheon for Kind in La Crosse, Wis on August 28. Both event venues were filled to maximum-capacity attendance, says the statement.
The event goers urged their Representatives to champion the bill as part of major health or tax reform legislation that will be before Congress in the coming months. The Henderson event was hosted by the Nevada AG Bell chapter (AG Bell-NV), and the La Crosse event was hosted by the Wisconsin HLAA chapter (HLA-WI) and AG Bell with support from members of the International Hearing Society (IHS) and the American Academy of Audiology (AAA). Both events were sponsored by HIA.
Rep Ron Kind (D-Wis) with Andy Bopp, HIA, and La Crosse residents
During the programs, several local residents with hearing loss described the effectiveness of their hearing aids and emphasized the difficulties related to the lack of financial assistance when seeking hearing aid treatment, says the statement. They identified passage of the Hearing Aid Tax Credit as critical to their ability to access the hearing assistance technology they rely on in their daily lives, says HIA.
Speaking to the audience, Kind identified passage of the tax credit as a worthy goal, and was quoted in the HIA statement as saying he would love to be able to get it done as soon as possible. Kind is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over all tax legislation including HR 1646.
Titus, his freshman colleague, said in the statement that she was proud to cosponsor the tax credit and that she would work toward passage of the bill. AG Bell-NV hosted a similar program last year for Rep Shelley Berkley (D-Nev), who is also a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
The HIA statement included comments from attendees. Speaking during the Titus event, 7-year-old Samuel Grant of Henderson, Nev said, “My hearing aids are very important to me. They help me hear and understand what people say. If I did not have them, I think I would fail in school. I do not want that to happen. I am proud to have my hearing aids.”
In La Crosse, Wisconsin, Mary Jane Griffin of Eau Claire echoed the sentiment, “I need hearing aids to hear my family members, I need hearing aids to socialize, I need hearing aids to hear birds and to listen to music, and I really would appreciate the Hearing Aid Tax Credit. It would financially help my family, my husband and I, since both of us wear hearing aids.”
The events were the latest in a series of grassroots initiatives in support of the Hearing Aid Tax Credit sponsored by HIA in partnership with HLAA, AG Bell, and IHS. Other successful events have been held in California, Michigan, Texas, and Pennsylvania, says the statement.
The Hearing Aid Tax Credit has 100 cosponsors in the House of Representatives, including 14 members of the Ways and Means Committee, and five cosponsors in the Senate. Visit www.hearingaidtaxcredit.org to learn more.