Warren And The Much Cheaper Hearing Aids

In the past couple of years I posted this video. For some reason I can’t find the link.

Here in the first 7 minutes or so we see Senator Warren discuss how she, working with Chuck Grassley were able to get OTC (over the counter) hearing aids available and dramatically reduced in price. The crux of the hearing aid story is in the first 7 minutes: 

My understanding was that this was supposed to go into effect in 2018. The bill was passed in 2017 and Trump signed it.

It is not yet in effect. Why not?

I asked when I was at Costco the other day. The employee said something about the FDA. So I checked and he was right. It is what appears to be yet another administration case of slow walking something that would be good for people.

From The Hearing Review.  

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) are pressing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over its “lack of action on writing rules to allow the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids,” the US Senate Committee on Finance announced on its website.

The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act, a bill led by Grassley and Warren, was signed into law in 2017. That law allows the FDA to promulgate regulations categorizing certain hearing aids as “over-the-counter,” and sets an August 2020 deadline for such rules.

Last October, the FDA announced that writing those rules would be a priority for the agency, but “has shown no sign of progress since,” according to the announcement.

…although hearing aids are considered prescription products, they are not generally covered by health insurance or Medicare and can cost thousands of dollars. For seniors or those on limited budgets, at these prices, hearing aids may not be obtainable,” the senators wrote.

There is a bit more at the link. 

We will try to keep our eyes on this story. After all, my family tells me I could use a bit of help on this area.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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