Now Hear This, Texas Legislature – Pass HB 2979

In Texas, insurance companies are not required to pay for hearing aids for people—children—under the age of 18. Such devices are qualified as cosmetic.

Today, the Texas House of Representatives has HB 2979 on the calendar. If passed, our state would be one step closer to requiring insurance companies to cover hearing aids for children as the medical necessity they are. If they adjourn tonight without voting on it, it dies. (HB stands for House Bill.)

This bill must be passed.

You can find all of the reasons to support it in this eloquent essay from a family with a darling daughter for whom “hearing aids are neither cosmetic or a luxury,” but a medical necessity.

This post is to let you know exactly who to call and what to say to ensure this bill is heard today, voted on, and passed by the House.

You’ll need to do three things:

  1. Look up who represents you and get that person’s office phone number.
  2. Call that person’s office. Don’t email, call.
  3. Briefly and politely, but firmly, ask your representative to vote for this vital bill.

If you want extra credit, you can do a fourth—call the speaker’s office to ask that the bill be heard.

1 – Look up who represents you:

  • Put your street address, city, and zip code into this form.
  • Select “HOUSE” from the drop-down menu.
  • Click on “SUBMIT”
  • You will get a page that shows the name of your representative, and gives a capitol phone number that begins (512) 463-

2 – Call your representative’s capitol office:

  • You need to call, not email. Time is of the essence. Call as soon as you read this and look up the number. Do not wait until this evening.
  • You will speak to a staff member, not the representative, because the representative is on the floor of the house.
  • It is 100% OK, and in fact, preferable, to talk to the staff member. They are there to take your call and are glad to hear from you.

3 – Ask your representative to vote for this bill:

  • Be polite, be brief. There is no need to be rude or threatening, and in fact, that will work against you.
  • The staff will be getting tons of calls about many things, so be sure to mention that you are a constituent, the bill number, and how you want the representative to vote.
  • Say thank you. Mean it.
  • The person on the phone might ask for more information, like your address, or why yo you are calling.
  • The person who answers might just hang up as soon as you say you are calling to ask for a yes vote on HB 2979. That means they are busy, and have registered your message in their tally of calls. They’ve hung up to get another call and/or to make sure word gets to your representative.

A sample script:

“Hi. My name is ________. I live in Representative ______’s district, and want to ask her to vote yes on HB 2979 today. It will literally change the lives of vulnerable Texas children. Thank you so much for sharing my request with the representative. I appreciate your time! Thank you!

Extra credit – Calling the Speaker

As above, make it a quick, polite call.

“Hi, I’m ______ and live in Rep. (your rep, not the speaker)’s district. Just wanted to respectfully ask the Speaker to please be sure HB 2979 gets a vote today. Thank you for your time and help!”*

The Speaker’s office is getting tons of calls, so this needs to be really brief.

You are calling Speaker Joe Straus at (512) 463-1000.

 

*I am aware I split an infinitive. Just trying to underscore the need to be polite.

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