2017 Public Policy Agenda Includes Health Care, Education, Professional Issues As a new administration and Congress take office, ASHA has updated its priorities for advocacy and public policy activities in 2017. Approved by the Board of Directors in October, the 2017 public policy agenda includes 15 issues relevant to audiologists and speech-language pathologists, categorized in three areas: health care, education ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   January 01, 2017
2017 Public Policy Agenda Includes Health Care, Education, Professional Issues
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Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   January 01, 2017
2017 Public Policy Agenda Includes Health Care, Education, Professional Issues
The ASHA Leader, January 2017, Vol. 22, 58. doi:10.1044/leader.AN1.22012017.58
The ASHA Leader, January 2017, Vol. 22, 58. doi:10.1044/leader.AN1.22012017.58
As a new administration and Congress take office, ASHA has updated its priorities for advocacy and public policy activities in 2017.
Approved by the Board of Directors in October, the 2017 public policy agenda includes 15 issues relevant to audiologists and speech-language pathologists, categorized in three areas: health care, education and professional. The issues may require focus at the federal and/or state levels.
Legislative issues
Health care
  • Medicare reimbursement and coverage policies.

  • Medicaid reimbursement and coverage policies.

  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—oppose the “Cadillac tax” on premium employer health plans and support inclusion of habilitation and rehabilitation services and devices by audiologists and SLPs in state health insurance exchanges.

  • Private health plan reimbursement and coverage policies.

  • Consumer access to safe, effective and affordable hearing health care services—including hearing devices and audiologic rehabilitation—and for audiological intervention in the dispensing of hearing aids.

  • Telepractice/telehealth.

Education
  • Legislation and regulations (Every Student Succeeds Act).

  • Funding and practice issues for school-based and early intervention services (Individuals With Disabilities Education Act).

Professional
  • Social Security benefit for public employees.

  • Loan forgiveness/tuition assistance as a recruitment and retention tool.

  • Demonstrating value and quality of member services.

  • Promoting universal licensure.

  • Use of audiology and speech-language pathology assistants within the service continuum.

  • Promoting audiologists and SLPs as state consultants.

Member advocacy
With a new Congress convening in 2017, ASHA will lobby to get bills related to the agenda items introduced or reintroduced into Congress. Grassroots support for these bills is critical, as members of Congress note their constituents’ views. ASHA encourages members to sign up for action alerts, which keep members informed about pressing issues and provide links to messages to send to senators and representatives.
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January 2017
Volume 22, Issue 1