Alexandria, VA, May 27, 2005 Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) introduced S. 1060, the Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit Act on May 18, 2005. The bill was introduced with significant bipartisan support, with Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Mark Dayton (D-MN), Jon Corzine (D-NJ), Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) as original cosponsors, and was announced during Sen. Colemans remarks before a luncheon meeting on Capitol Hill to kick off the 2005 Hearing on the Hill expo on hearing loss and treatment. S. 1060 would provide a tax credit, up to $500 per hearing aid, to individuals aged 55 and older, and families with dependents, to help older people and children better afford to treat their hearing loss.
Hearing on the Hill was sponsored by the Hearing Industries Association (HIA), the national trade association of manufacturers of hearing aids, and was supported by the Friends of Hearing Health a large coalition of providers, consumers, and other national organizations interested in hearing health issues.
Senator Norm Coleman (right) accepts the 2005 HIA Senator of the Year
Award from Jerry Ruzicka (left), HIA Immediate Past Chairman, Starkey Laboratories
S.1060 will help millions of Americans enjoy something most of us just take for granted Coleman stated. In noting the prevalence of hearing loss in America today, Coleman noted that this bill will enable many of the 24 million individuals who currently are not able to afford treatment to obtain a hearing aid to treat their hearing loss. Coleman stressed that the ability to hear should not be dependent on the size of a persons bank account. He also commended the interest and dedication of the hearing health community to raising awareness of this issue, and noted that the continuing efforts and commitment of the hearing community would be essential to ensuring passage of S. 1060. He urged everyone who supports the bill to go back to your respective communities and talk to your legislators and give them the opportunity to do something that really is going to make a difference in many lives.
S. 1060 is the companion bill to H.R. 414, introduced in the House of Representatives on January 26, 2005 by Rep. Jim Ryun (R-KS), which currently has 56 cosponsors. Senator Coleman and Representative Ryun have been named by HIA as 2005 Legislators of the Year for their leadership and support to increase awareness about hearing health and to promote a responsible solution through this legislation to help address the problem of untreated hearing loss.
HIA, headquartered in Alexandria, VA, is the national trade association of manufacturers of hearing aids, implantable hearing devices, assistive listening devices, component parts and power sources for amplification devices.