Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor has introduced four bills aimed at aging issues and hearing-loss intervention. Bailey received accolades from community groups and her Senate colleagues for her work when the legislation received public hearings Thursday before the Senate Health Care Committee.
“These bills have a central theme that is very personal to me,” said Bailey. “After taking care of an aging parent, I recognized the challenges that families and caregivers face. The legislation I am sponsoring will help health-care professionals identify and respond to patient needs when it comes to hearing loss, and ensure that certain insurance plans in our state, especially for the most vulnerable, cover costly devices to help those struggling with hearing loss.”
- Senate Bill 5177 would require long-term care workers be trained to recognize hearing loss.
- Senate Bill 5178 would direct the state Department of Health to develop hearing-loss educational programs for health care professionals.
- Senate Bill 5179 would require coverage for hearing instruments under public-employee and Medicaid programs.
- Senate Bill 5180 would establish a legislative advisory committee on aging to review issues of importance to the state’s aging community.
The chair of the health-care committee lauded Bailey’s work, stating, “I’m so appreciative of the work you are doing on this very serious issue.” Panelists testifying in support of the proposals included health care professionals, aging-adult advocates, educators and care facilities who would be affected by Bailey’s bills.
“Making sure people can hear should not be an expensive or arduous process,” said Bailey. “These are important bills to the aging population, which is something that we will all experience.”