Hearing aids should be covered by medicare for severe hearing loss
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My best mate Shelley is amazing. She grew up in a small country town in WA. She went to school and finished in year 10 to start an apprenticeship. Not long after she gained fulltime work and has worked for the government for almost 20+years. She is a hard worker, she works fulltime, has completed a degree at university and she is a mum. Why does all this matter?
She was born with perfect hearing! At the age of about 2, something happened. She lost her hearing! Noone can be sure why or how this happened but never the less it did!
So this was the start of life for her with hearing aids. Now let me tell you, you would never know. She has never, and I mean never used the fact that she is deaf to her advantage. She has never got special attention at school (apart from sitting in the front row of a classroom to ensure she hears or asking her to mime in a choir performance!!) She has never used her disability to gain employment or to claim a disability pension. When her daughter was born, she wore her hearing aids all night to ensure she heard her cry and she purchused a vibrating monitor to ensure she didnt miss anything. NOTHING WILL STOP THIS WOMAN...SHE IS AMAZING!
So what am I getting at?
I can not understand why medicare does not help the "Shelleys" in our community. Why do these people (people who are severly deaf, with no choice but to wear hearing aids, not get funding or assistance when buying and/or servicing them? I STRONGLY BELIEVE THIS IS RIDICULOUS!
Over the years I have watched Shelley take out loans to pay for her hearing aids when they need replacing every few years. They also need to be serviced regularly. The minimum cost is about $4000 for a basic pair and more if you want to take advantage of the amazing technology that is around. Thats a lot of money and not something we have lying around! Some will struggle to come up with this even if they work fulltime!
Why should someone have to take out a loan for a piece of equipment that is essential to live a normal life? For a person that is completely deaf to work fulltime, to be a mum, to fulfill normal everyday tasks that a person with normal hearing takes for granted. A person that has never claimed a disability allowance in her life and never used her lack of hearing to stop her from doing anything in life. Medicare will cover kids to age 26 and then 65 onwards but nothing inbetween. If your still deaf from 27 to 64..too bad!
So the reason for my petition is ask you to rethink your policies and help these people pay for their essential hearing aids. I find it absolutely unbelievable that medicare does not cover such an essential and expensive item for those that are severely deaf. Hearing aids are not a luxury or a choice! These people are deaf, they need aids to complete everyday tasks.
I want to make a change. I want our medicare system to cover hearing aids/servicing and repairs for people who are severely deaf. I ask for your help please. Please change our medicare program by making hearing aids available under our goverment schemes.
Please sign this petition to help me make a change!
From another person who understands!
" It's a pain, they cover you from birth to 26 and then from 26 to pensioner age you have to somehow find the funds to afford up to 3-4k a hearing aid per ear.. and you're lucky if they last 2-3 years before they're considered old tech. Then there is the general upkeep, the moulds, the batteries etc. It's nuts. It's not a luxury, it's a necessity. How can we be productive in a hearing society otherwise? .."
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