Congress Includes Hearing Benefits in FEHBP Study The House Government Reform Subcommittee on Civil Service approved a bill that would require the Bush administration to study and present to Congress options for improving hearing, dental, and vision benefits for federal employees through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). The original version of H.R. 3751 focused on ... Policy Analysis
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Policy Analysis  |   May 01, 2004
Congress Includes Hearing Benefits in FEHBP Study
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Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Policy Analysis
Policy Analysis   |   May 01, 2004
Congress Includes Hearing Benefits in FEHBP Study
The ASHA Leader, May 2004, Vol. 9, 3. doi:10.1044/leader.PA.09092004.3
The ASHA Leader, May 2004, Vol. 9, 3. doi:10.1044/leader.PA.09092004.3
The House Government Reform Subcommittee on Civil Service approved a bill that would require the Bush administration to study and present to Congress options for improving hearing, dental, and vision benefits for federal employees through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).
The original version of H.R. 3751 focused on only dental and vision benefits. But ASHA was able to work in a bipartisan manner with subcommittee members and staff to add hearing benefits to the study. Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) offered the amendment that was accepted on a voice vote. During the markup, he thanked ASHA for its initiative and read the Association’s letter to the subcommittee chair and ranking member into the record.
ASHA lobbyists have also met with Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, to ensure that hearing benefits would remain in the bill as it moves through the committee and vote by the U.S. House. In addition, discussions have been initiated with Senate committee staffs of jurisdiction, the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Optometric Association (AOA) to promote passage of the legislation in the Senate.The Washington Post also featured an article by Stephen Barr titled, “House Panel Backs Study of Dental, Vision, Hearing Benefits,” published on March 19.
This advocacy initiative is part of ASHA’s overall plan to expand coverage of audiologic diagnostic and rehabilitation services in private and public health plans. This includes support for H.R. 3464, “The Medicare Audiologic Rehabilitation Act of 2003,” in conjunction with efforts to advance direct access to audiologists through the “Hearing Health Accessibility Act of 2003” (H.R. 2821 and S.1647).
Your help is needed in urging your federal lawmakers by phone, e-mail, fax, or postal letter to co-sponsor these important bills. Visit ASHA’s Take Action Web site to send a letter to your representatives. For more information about H.R. 3751, contact Stefanie Reeves by e-mail at sreeves@asha.org or by phone at 800-498-2071, ext. 4452.
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May 2004
Volume 9, Issue 9