SEN. GRASSLEY: I hear from Iowans all the time about high cost of hearing aids

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I hear from Iowans all the time about the high cost of hearing aids. 


The $5,000 or $6,000, or even $10,000 costs are often shocking for seniors on a fixed income 


Thirty-eight million American adults have hearing loss. 


Hearing loss makes it harder to work and socialize and easier to become isolated.  


In 2016, I began a bipartisan effort with Senator Warren to allow consumers to purchase over-the-counter hearing aids. 


If you can buy non-prescription reading glasses over-the-counter, it makes sense that you should be able to buy basic, safe hearing aids, too 


When Senator Warren and I began our effort our goal was simple: by making more products more easily available to consumers, competition will increase and lead to lower costs.  


Despite special interests, we passed in 2017 the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act. 


Last week, the FDA released proposed regulations for over-the-counter hearing aids. 


This is welcome news.  


But it took the FDA bureaucracy more than three years to draft regulations.  


Senator Warren and I pressed both Republican and Democrat administrations to take action 


I am glad the FDA finally did its job.  


Now the same Iowans who told me about the high cost of hearing aids can comment on the draft regulations.  


You have until January 18, 2022, to make comment on the draft regulations.  


As long as the FDA bureaucracy acts – and I hope they are listening – I expect Iowans can purchase over-the-counter hearing aids sometime in 2022.  


That is good news for Iowans