President Joe Biden touted news Tuesday that the Food and Drug Administration is making hearing aids available over the counter — a move begun through a law signed under former President Donald Trump’s administration.
“For millions of Americans, hearing aids and the doctor’s visit to get them prescribed are too expensive,” the president said in a statement. “In the executive order I issued last year to increase competition in key industries and lower costs, I called on the FDA to finally make hearing aids available over the counter.”
Good news: The FDA has issued a new rule to allow hearing aids to be sold over the counter. pic.twitter.com/3WJLUueEwt
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) August 16, 2022
“Today, the FDA is doing just that,” he continued. “As early as mid-October, Americans will be able to purchase more affordable hearing aids over the counter at pharmacies and stores across the country.”
Biden said that the move demonstrates that his administration is “finally building an economy that works for working families.”
The president’s statement failed to note that the legislation that enabled this move, the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act, was passed in 2017 and signed into law by Trump.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) first introduced the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act in March 2017.
In a Tuesday tweet, Warren called the news “historic” and acknowledged that their legislation began “the process of making hearing aids available over the counter.”
Joe Biden today is taking credit for being able to buy hearing aids over the counter.
He fails to mention how the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act that allowed for this to happen was passed in 2017 and signed into law by President Donald J. Trump.
Thanks President Trump! pic.twitter.com/JLNfzcd8WH
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) August 16, 2022
Tuesday’s action establishes a new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, the FDA said in a release, and enables customers to purchase the hearing aids straight from stores or online retailers without medical exams, prescriptions, or fitting adjustments.
The FDA noted that the rule is expected to lower the cost of hearing aids while ensuring the safety and effectiveness of the aids.
“Reducing health care costs in America has been a priority of mine since Day One and this rule is expected to help us achieve quality, affordable health care access for millions of Americans in need,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra in a Tuesday statement. “Today’s action by the FDA represents a significant milestone in making hearing aids more cost-effective and accessible.”