Going to Technology Day in Tallahassee was a great experience. As someone who always viewed insurance issues as problems I would just have to “deal with” as a future professional, it was amazing to see that advocating can actually make a difference. The day began with meeting many audiologists, fellow students, and families with children who have hearing loss to discuss how to advocate for our bill, SB 890. After a short meeting in which we were brought up to speed on the current status of the bill, as well as facts and statistics on hearing loss in children, we all broke off into multiple teams. I joined a team with fellow students, and we made our way through a list of representatives.
All of the staff we talked to agreed that their employer would most likely be very interested in co-sponsoring the bill. The one representative we were able to discuss the bill with face-to-face, immediately agreed to cosponsor the bill. It felt amazing to know that just by simply spreading our knowledge of how crucial early intervention in childhood hearing loss is, we were able to convince people that this was a bill worth fighting for. A big factor we tried to highlight to everyone we presented our bill to is the fact that this bill would only cost an extra 6 cents per month for private insurance members. For such a small cost, the reward is truly life-changing. I had a great time knowing that not only were we fighting for such an important cause, but we were getting very positive and supportive reactions from everyone. I think it’s only a matter of time before SB 890 is official, and I look forward to it.