Washington, D.C. - An article in yesterday's Berkshire Eagle highlights the work of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to make hearing aids available over the counter, bringing down costs and increasing access for those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
The Berkshire Eagle: Fighting the high cost of hearing aids
By Larry Parnass
May 7, 2017
"In a move to cut prices, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, are co-sponsoring a bill that would enable people with mild to moderate hearing loss to buy hearing aids over the counter, without a prescription. A hearing was held this week on Capitol Hill on a similar bill in the House, co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, D-Mass.
Lawmakers argue that costs would come down if device manufacturers could market directly to the public. They want to open the process of treating hearing loss and encourage innovation.
Sen. Warren said "outdated regulations and high costs" strand six out of seven people with hearing loss.
"Here's a place where we need a little less regulation, so that more people can get access to hearing aids at prices they can afford," Warren told The Eagle. "Allowing some hearing aids to be sold over the counter would increase competition and innovation, bringing down prices and expanding access."
Unless the law is changed, she said, hearing aids will remain unaffordable for millions - or force them to dig deep to pay high costs."