August 17, 2007
Congressman Peter Roskam (R-Ill) visited Knowles’ corporate headquarters Aug. 6. and met with several of the company’s executives, including Gordon Walker, general manager, Jeffrey Niew, chief operations officer, and Ray Kirchhoefer, vice president, research and development.
Roskam also toured the Knowles facilities during the visit to develop a better understanding of what goes into making hearing instrument transducers. Throughout the tour Roskam met with various Knowles employees, and tduring the congresman’s visit Knowles took the opportunity to thank Roskam for his sponsorship of the Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit.
Rep. Peter Roskam is among the 50 co-sponsors of H.R. 2329, the Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit, in the US House of Representatives. The bi-partisan bill would provide a $500 tax credit for the purchase of a hearing aid for those aged 55 and older and for dependents.
According to a statement from Knowles, hearing aids are the only treatment for 95% of people with hearing loss. Since those people are not covered under Medicare or under the majority of state mandated benefits, 72% of Americans receive no financial assistance from any source when seeking hearing aid treatment, the statement reads.
Rep. Roskam notes, “Fully one-third of those with hearing loss who do not seek treatment cite cost as a primary barrier and the tax credit legislation is designed to partially address this problem.” A Knowles news release reports recent research has measured the cost of untreated hearing loss at up to $12,000 per year in lost household income. Left untreated, hearing loss can also result in distorted communication, social isolation, depression, anger, and a loss of independence.