ASHA Federal Issue Briefs
ASHA's Public Policy Agenda
Alternatives to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy
Ensure that all appropriate therapies are provided to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and that Congress not pass health care or education legislation that could have the unintended consequence of designating applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy as the sole means by which to treat ASD. Learn more about this legislation; read the full Alternatives to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy issue brief [PDF].
Congressional Hearing Health Caucus
Urge your representative to join the Hearing Health Caucus. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief about the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus [PDF].
CONNECT for Health Act
Tell your Senators and Representatives to cosponsor the CONNECT for Health Act (S. 2484/H.R. 4442). This is bipartisan, bicameral legislation, which removes the restrictions on the type of health care provider who may furnish services via telehealth technology in Alternative Payment Models (APM) and Medicare Advantage (MA) plans at the option of the individual APMs and MA plans. Learn more about this legislation; read the full CONNECT for Health Act issue brief. [PDF]
Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit
Ask your members of Congress to cosponsor the Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit, S. 315/H.R 1882, legislation that would allow for a hearing aid tax credit. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief on the Hearing Aid Tax Credit [PDF]; see the video.
IDEA Funding for Special Education
Ask your representative in the House of Representatives to cosponsor H.R. 551, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Full Funding Act. Remind your representative and senators that the share of federal funding special education currently sits at 16.3%, well short of the 40% commitment made in the IDEA law. Learn more about IDEA. See the full issue brief on IDEA [PDF].
Medicare Coverage of Audiology Services
Ask your members of Congress to support H.R. 1116, the Medicare Audiology Services Enhancement Act of 2015, legislation that would provide senior citizens with a Medicare audiology benefit that gives them access to both diagnostic and treatment services provided by audiologists. Learn more about comprehensive coverage. Read the full issue brief on Medicare Coverage of Audiology Services [PDF]; watch the video.
Medicare Outpatient Therapy Caps
Tell Congress to support the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act of 2015 (S. 539/ H.R. 775). This legislation would repeal the Medicare outpatient therapy cap and ensure Medicare patients continue to have access to medically necessary speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, and physical therapy services. Learn more about therapy caps. Read the full issue brief on Medicare Therapy Caps [PDF]; watch the video.
Medicare Telehealth Coverage for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Services
Tell your members of Congress to support the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2015 (H.R. 2948), which identifies audiologists and speech-language pathologists as appropriate providers of telehealth services and authorizes Medicare to reimburse them for providing patients with much-needed care. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief on Telehealth Coverage [PDF].
Paperwork for Special Education Services
The U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of the Congress, released a study of administrative and paperwork burdens associated with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in early 2016. ASHA is seeking members of Congress to take the lead on the recommendations in the GAO report and become a champion for increased services for children with disabilities. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief on Paperwork [PDF].
Reauthorization of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI)
Urge your Senators to cosponsor the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act of 2015 (S. 2424) that was introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY). This legislation, known as EHDI, would reauthorize the federal portion of this important and highly successful initiative for the next five years. EHDI legislation already passed the House (H.R. 1344) in September 2015 on the suspension calendar. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief on EHDI [PDF].
Restore Loans for Graduate Students
Urge your Representative to cosponsor the Protecting Our Students by Terminating Graduate Rates that Add to Debt Act (H.R. 4223), which was introduced by Representative Judy Chu (D-CA). This legislation, known as the POST GRAD Act, would restore the eligibility of graduate students for the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Program. Urge your Senators to sponsor the POST GRAD Act in the Senate. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief on the POST GRAD Act [PDF].
Veterans Administration Hearing Aid Specialists
Tell your members of Congress to oppose S. 564, legislation introduced by Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) that would allow for the appointment of hearing aid specialists to the Veterans Administration (VA). This legislation is redundant and unnecessary because current VA policies already allow for the employment of hearing aid specialists. The legislation will not address the problems associated with long wait times for hearing aids and hearing health care services by providing patients with timely access to qualified providers.
The House bill (originally H.R. 353) has been significantly modified and has been incorporated into H.R. 3471. Please oppose the hearing aid specialist provisions of this bill. The language continues to recognize hearing aid specialists under Title 38 and would also—for the first time—identify audiology treatment plans as non-medical. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief on Hearing Aid Specialists [PDF].