American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

ASHA Federal Issue Briefs

ASHA's Public Policy Agenda

Read ASHA's 2014 Public Policy Agenda.

2014 Legislative Priorities [PDF]

Access to Frontline Health Care Act

Ask House members to support legislation that amends the Public Health Service Act to establish a student loan repayment program in exchange for health professionals providing two years of services in "scarcity areas." Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief on the Frontline Health Care Act [PDF]. See also Frequently Asked Questions: New Loan Forgiveness for Service in Areas of National Need Program.

Congressional Hearing Health Caucus

Representatives Tom Latham (R-IA) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) have made a commitment to reviving the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus (CHHC) to broaden support and knowledge of hearing health issues within Congress. The CHHC aims to provide an educational setting for discussion of issues related to hearing health. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief on the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus [PDF].

Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit

Ask your members of Congress to cosponsor 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].

Literacy and Reading Programs

Ask your members of Congress to give local school districts the flexibility to use qualified and certified education professionals, such as speech-language pathologists and audiologists, as recognized providers of service under federal literacy and reading legislation and programs. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief on Literacy and Reading Programs [PDF].

Medicaid Coverage of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Services

Ask your members of Congress to support legislative efforts to provide Medicaid coverage for speech-language pathology and audiology services. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief on Medicaid Coverage of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Services [PDF].

Comprehensive Medicare Coverage of Audiology Services

Request that your members of Congress support legislative efforts to provide senior citizens with a Medicare audiology benefit that would allow access to both diagnostic and rehabilitative services. Learn more about comprehensive coverage. See the full issue brief on Medicare Coverage of Audiology Services [PDF].

Medicare Outpatient Therapy Caps

Tell Congress to support legislation that 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. Congress and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) need to develop long-term payment reform for outpatient therapy services. Learn more about therapy caps. See the full issue brief on Medicare Therapy Caps [PDF].

Medicare Telepractice Coverage for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Services

Tell your members of Congress to recognize telepractice (telemedicine, telehealth, telespeech, teleaudiology) as an appropriate model of service delivery for the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology under Medicare. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief on Telepractice Coverage for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Services [PDF].

Paperwork Burden

Ask your members of Congress to seek ways to reduce cumbersome administrative and paperwork requirements in the reauthorization of both the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Encourage your members of Congress to contact schools in their districts and schedule a visit to meet with speech-language pathologists and audiologists to hear firsthand about the paperwork and administrative burden. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief on Paperwork [PDF].

Protect IDEA Funding

Ask your members of Congress to protect federal education programs for children with disabilities. Congress should not solve the financial difficulties facing the government by trimming away funding for disabled children; they have already contributed enough to the deficit reduction. Learn more about IDEA. See the full issue brief on IDEA [PDF].

Protecting Student Athletes from Concussion Act

Ask your Senator to cosponsor S. 1546 the Protecting Student Athletes from Concussion Act of 2013, introduced by Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois. Ask your Representative if he or she would like to be the original sponsor in the House. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief on the Concussion Act [PDF].

VA Hearing Specialists

Tell your member of Congress to oppose H.R. 3508, legislation that would allow for the appointment of hearing aid specialists to the Veterans Health Administration (VA). This legislation is redundant and unnecessary, because current VA policies already allow for hiring and using hearing aid specialists. The legislation could lead to fragmented care and will not serve the intended purpose of allowing greater access to hearing health care services. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief [PDF].

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