July 7, 2015

News Advisory


Tuesday, July 14th

11:00am – Noon

U.S. Capitol Visitors Center

Room HVC-200

Across the country, seniors and their advocates are preparing to celebrate Medicare’s 50th anniversary on July 30th. And, they have good reason to celebrate. Through the years, with the guidance of health policy experts and support from Congress and the White House, Medicare has proven to be a dynamic program with a successful record of addressing the changing health needs of persons 65 years of age and older. But, for a program which fills a critical need for millions of beneficiaries, the lack of certain coverage which addresses the well-being of the whole person must be a part of the planning strategy for the next 50 years. Hearing, vision and dental services are not currently covered by Medicare. This leaves millions of seniors at a loss to pay for services that are crucial to maintaining a healthy, independent lifestyle.    

Expanding coverage under Medicare is one step closer to reality thanks to legislation sponsored by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI). She will be joined by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare President/CEO, Max Richtman, and respected Johns Hopkins researcher, Frank Lin, MD, Ph.D.. They will talk about the hearing loss challenges facing our nation’s older citizens and H.R. 1653 which Congresswoman Dingell has introduced to allow Medicare to provide coverage for hearing aids.  The National Committee Foundation will release an issue brief discussing the merits of expanding hearing aid coverage in Medicare.

Did you know? 

  • One out of three people over 65 has a hearing loss with more than 65% of those suffering a loss before retirement age.

  • Research has shown older adults with hearing loss are 32% more likely to require hospitalization, face a 24% increased risk for cognitive impairment and increasingly suffer from isolation and depression.

  • 48 million Americans suffer some degree of hearing loss making it a public health issue third in line after heart disease and arthritis.



The National Committee, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization acts in the interests of its membership through advocacy, education, services, grassroots efforts and the leadership of the Board of Directors and professional staff. The work of the National Committee is directed toward developing better-informed citizens and voters.

Media Inquiries to:

Pamela Causey 202-216-8378/202-236-2123

Brad Wright 202-216-8352