Wednesday, 01 July 2020
Chair of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, Senator Susan Collins, Co-Sponsors Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act (S. 2446)
On June 24, 2020, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) became the ninth U.S. Senator to co-sponsor the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act (MAASA), S. 2446. Collins serves as Chair of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, which heard testimony earlier this month on combating social isolation among older adults in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Included in the testimony was a February report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), Social Isolation and Older Adults: Opportunities for the Health Care System. The report outlined many factors that contribute to social isolation among older adults, including the association between hearing loss and social isolation. The report also stated that “remediation of hearing loss has been found to reduce loneliness and improve social functioning.”
The committee that authored the 2020 NASEM report on social isolation in older adults was chaired by Dr. Dan Blazer II, who also chaired the NASEM committee that authored the 2016 publication, Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability.
Senator Collins is one of the U.S. Senate’s leading advocates for older adults. Her support of MAASA demonstrates the importance of hearing and balance health among older Americans, and the essential role that audiologists play in their care. ADA is grateful for Senator Collins’ endorsement of S. 2446—and now is the time to build on this momentum!