Rep Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) greets attendees of the Congressional Brunch.

Some 180 Philadelphia-area residents recently gathered in Fort Washington, Pa, to demonstrate their support for the Hearing Aid Tax Credit (HR 1646) and to thank Rep Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) for her original co-sponsorship of the bill. 

The event was hosted by the Pennsylvania chapters of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) and the AG Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell), with support from the Pennsylvania chapter of the International Hearing Society (IHS) and Hearing Industries Association (HIA).

During the program, several attendees 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

Schwartz said health care reform is an important part of the Congressional agenda this year, and noted that this would be a good time to enact the hearing aid tax credit. Schwartz, known as a health care expert, is one of 10 House Ways and Means Committee members who have co-sponsored the legislation—a record amount of support from the Committee that has jurisdiction over the legislation. 

As a member of the Pennsylvania Senate from 1990 to 2004, Schwartz has been a leader on health care issues.  Her efforts led to the creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program in 1992, which served as the model for the federal plan that provides insurance to millions of children.

The brunch was 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. The largest previous attendance was 130 people for events in Maryland and Michigan. Other successful events have been held in California, Nevada, Texas, and Western

[Source: Hearing Industries Association]