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Three Cheers For Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids

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President at Paragon Health Institute
Brian Blase, Ph.D., is the President of Paragon Health Institute. Brian was Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the White House’s National Economic Council (NEC) from 2017-2019, where he coordinated the development and execution of numerous health policies and advised the President, NEC director, and senior officials. After leaving the White House, Brian founded Blase Policy Strategies and serves as its CEO.
Former Senior Policy Analyst
Drew Keyes is a former Senior Policy Analyst at the Paragon Health Institute. Drew brings nearly a decade of experience as a Congressional staffer, where he worked to advance conservative, free-market principles.

This past week, the Food and Drug Administration finally took the commonsense step to allow patients to buy hearing aids over the counter (OTC), or without a prescription. This action should help millions of Americans with hearing loss by reducing the cost, including wait times, of getting the assistance that they need. It should also spur competition among hearing aid manufacturers and distributors to better meet patient needs, patients like Brian Barbera.

Brian Barbera’s Struggle to Get Needed Hearing Assistance

When Brian Barbera sought new hearing aids earlier this year, he knew it was going to be a difficult undertaking. Brian is 33 and has experienced bilateral mild-to-moderate hearing loss since the first grade. Ever since, he’s worn custom hearing aids.

His current ones are now eight years old, well past time to be replaced. His right hearing aid stopped working so he took it to his audiologist. That visit, not covered by insurance, cost $250. The hearing aids were out of date, he was told. So, they contacted the manufacturer. After initially being told they were too old to repair, the manufacturer eventually agreed to repair them for another $350.

The full article can be found in Forbes.

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