Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Now Available in US

Photo: scientificamerican

The Facts

  • On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made hearing aids available over-the-counter (OTC), a change that makes the devices available to tens of millions of adults with mild to moderate hearing loss without a prescription and at lower prices.

  • The move comes as a result of Biden’s "Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy," issued over the summer. Already devices are becoming available at retailers for as low as $199, compared to thousands of dollars in the past.

The Spin

Democratic narrative

This move is a game-changer and Biden’s executive order is what pushed it over the finish line. Now, 90% of Americans with hearing loss can get affordable, accessible hearing health care and the hearing aid industry can become more competitive and innovative. Americans with hearing aids will also improve their physical and mental health.

Republican narrative

While this ruling will help millions of hard-of-hearing Americans, there's still some medical risk to buying a hearing device without consulting a professional. Biden’s executive order and this ruling also don't put a dent in inflation, so it would be nice if he found a way to lower the prices of everything else, too.

Political split



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