Those who supported the bill are optimistic about the changes it will provide. According to the Tri-City Herald, 48 million people are impacted by hearing loss but only one in six will receive the corrective device they need because of the cost. Proponents hope the bill will lower prices and help millions of individuals obtain hearing aids. The bill is also expected to spur innovation and urge more individuals to get the hearing help they need (but maybe couldn’t afford before).
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was the main force behind the bill, according to The Boston Globe. She wrote it with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and had the support of several high-profile cosponsors in the House and Senate. It was truly a bi-partisan effort, something that isn’t seen very often in Washington these days.
“It feels so good to be able to do something that will help millions of people. That’s the reason I came to Washington,” Warren said.
Currently, hearing aids cost thousands of dollars ($2,300 to be exact). Most people need two, which brings the cost closer to $5,000. However, the new bill could drop prices down into the hundreds. This bill will make is easier for Warren to focus on her larger cause (an FDA bill on user fees). Yesterday’s vote was key in pushing that issue forward.
“A lot of people are looking forward to enactment of this provision,” said Grassley, who coauthored the bill with Warren. “The more products available, the more consumers will be able to find something they can afford that works for them.”
“At the end of the day, the substance was right. It’s a good bill, and that’s what carried it. We were careful with the politics, but everyone could see how it would help millions of Americans, and they got on board,” said Warren of the new bill as it heads to the White House. The hearing aid bill is now headed to President Trump’s desk for approval. If the bill is approved, it is expected to improve the quality of life for millions of people. For more information about the hearing aids bill, check out the video below.
What do you think about the new bill? Do you support it?
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Photo: Huffington Post