By Jen Christensen, CNN
(CNN) - If you lose a leg, insurance will likely cover the cost of your prosthesis. If you lose your arm, it's the same. Even if you lose your ability to perform sexually, more than likely your Viagra is covered.
But if you start to lose your hearing, far too often you are on your own.
If hearing loss were officially considered a disability, it would rank as the largest disability class in the country. Some 37 million people suffer from hearing loss, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and that number will only grow as the population ages.
Yet most private medical insurance doesn't cover the cost of hearing aids. While the Department of Veterans Affairs often pays for them, in most cases Medicare, which covers many more people, does not.
I'm a human services wrkeor in Oregon (posted before a couple of times) – I would be interested in seeing more current numbers falling after the cuts in state-augmented Medicaid programs. Due to a variety of reasons (state budgetary shortfalls, economy downturn, inaccurate eligibility determinations causing cost overruns, etc), Medicaid at least in Oregon has been cut back to the federal level, which essentially covers only pregnant women, children, and the disabled.Nevertheless, I have to agree with the first poster on the role of choice – poverty in America isn't like poverty anywhere else in the world. There is opportunity here for anyone if they make the choice to reach out and take hold of it, but sadly, too many people watch it go by and do nothing.–wg