Oppose the AAO-HNS Backed Benishek Amendment and the Fit to Serve Provisions that Are Now Part of H.R. 3471

URGENT: Immediate action requested

Please contact your Congressional Representatives who are members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee today and request that they oppose the amendment, and the Fit to Serve bill that has been put forth by Representative Benishek in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 3471. The amendment would allow the Veterans Health Administration to hire hearing aid specialists for the purpose of fitting and dispensing hearing aids under a treatment plan developed by an audiologist.

Unfortunately, the amendment language includes the definition of “non-medical” rather than audiologic when addressing treatment plans developed by audiologists. We have learned that this language was proposed by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) as a means to provide additional physician oversight for hearing aid services provided in the VA. Currently, audiologists are recognized as the entry point in the VA for hearing health services. This amendment runs contrary to the original intent of the Fit to Serve legislation (H.R. 353), which was to provide greater access to hearing aids.

Visit Congressional Connect now and send a letter to your Representative. Since the committee mark-up for the bill is scheduled for tomorrow, please also call the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and request to be connected to your Representative. It is imperative that every audiologist contact members of Congress on this issue.
 
Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL)
Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)
Phil Roe (R-TN)
Dan Benishek (R-MI)
Tim Huelskamp (R-KS)
Mike Coffman (R-CO)
Brad Wenstrup (R-OH)
Jackie Walorski (R-IN)
Ralph Abraham (R-LA)
Lee Zeldin (R-NY)
Ryan Costello (R-PA)
Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS)
Mike Bost (R-IL)
  Ranking Member Corrine Brown (D-FL)
Mark Takano (D-CA)
Julia Brownley (D-CA)
Dina Titus (D-NV)
Raul Ruiz (D-CA)
Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH)
Beto O’Rourke (D-TX)
Kathleen Rice (D-NY)
Tim Walz (D-MN)
Jerry McNerney (D-CA)

For additional information, please contact Stephanie Czuhajewsi, Academy of Doctors of Audiology, at sczuhajewski@audiologist.org.