FLAA Legislative Alert: Updates on Current Legislative Efforts & Request for Action


SB 1268/HB 373: Hearing aid coverage for children – FLAA SUPPORTS

Earlier this week, SB 1268 passed in committee and is continuing to make favorable progress.  It’s companion bill, HB 373, has not yet had a hearing, but we are hopeful and making efforts to obtain a hearing.

HB 957/ SB 700 Amendment 286824: Hearing aid consultations and sales – FLAA OPPOSES

FLAA opposes this bill and amendment because it removes crucial standards that keep Floridians safe when they are pursuing hearing care services and treatment with amplification.  HB 957 is not progressing at this time and there is no Senate companion bill.  Additionally, SB 700 has not had another hearing since session began.  The lack of progress is favorable for Florida hearing care providers and our Florida patients.  We remain vigilant in monitoring these pieces of legislation.

Please write your legislators requesting a hearing for HB 373 and HB 2381.  Below are the e-mail addresses of the leadership that pertain to these bills and example text that you may copy and paste if you choose.  Thank you for your assistance in contacting our legislators!

Important Note Regarding the Personalization of the E-mail:
The Representatives on this list care about and have helped children with hearing loss in the past.  After introducing yourself, please thank them for their past support. It is helpful to add even a sentence or two about the difference that access to appropriate tools and services makes in the life of a child with hearing loss given your professional perspective.  The remainder of the sample below can be pasted with your opening statement or customized.  (Please keep TFisk@deafkidscan.org and profaffairs@floridaaudiology.org in the email block. It helps us with follow-up to have an idea of the e-mail traffic to legislators).

Email Block (Commas for most email providers): Chris.Sprowls@myfloridahouse.govchuck.brannan@myfloridahouse.govJay.Trumbull@myfloridahouse.govclay.yarborough@myfloridahouse.govLawrence.McClure@myfloridahouse.govBobby.DuBose@myfloridahouse.govmike.caruoso@myfloridahouse.govedotie.joseph@myfloridahouse.govTFisk@DeafKidsCan.orgprofaffairs@floridaaudiology.org

Email Block: (Semicolons for Microsoft Outlook accounts): Chris.Sprowls@myfloridahouse.govchuck.brannan@myfloridahouse.govJay.Trumbull@myfloridahouse.govclay.yarborough@myfloridahouse.govLawrence.McClure@myfloridahouse.govBobby.DuBose@myfloridahouse.govmike.caruoso@myfloridahouse.govedotie.joseph@myfloridahouse.govTFisk@DeafKidsCan.orgprofaffairs@floridaaudiology.org

To: Speaker Sprowls and Leaders of the Florida House
Subject: Please Hear HB 0373 and 2381

Speaker Sprowls and Leaders of the Florida House,

I am requesting your help today with two bills that affect children with hearing loss who are learning to listen and speak.

First, please ask Chairman Yarborough to schedule a hearing for HB 0373 Insurance Coverage for Hearing Aids for Children in Health Finance and Facilities. Without adequate access to sound during the first years of life, children experience permanent neurological changes and lose the opportunity to develop proficient spoken language. Most private insurance companies do not cover medically necessary hearing aids for children. Working families are faced with incredibly tough decisions like whether to pay for basic bills or cover the hearing aids their children need.

Second, please ask Chairman Trumbull to schedule a hearing for HB 2381 Auditory Oral Intervention for Children with Hearing Loss. After getting appropriate amplification from hearing aids or cochlear implants, children require specialized services to develop the listening and language centers in their brain. Children who access these services in the early years are ready to start elementary school with their mainstream peers in a typical classroom.

These bills are both good for children with hearing loss and save the state money in the long run by helping children access sound and develop proficient spoken language during a critical developmental window. In fact, the public saves over $1,000,000 in special education and disability related costs when a child who is deaf is able to access sound and auditory oral services when they need them.

Add your name and physical address at the end.