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Biden Saves Americans Money with Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids

While Governor Kristi Noem makes promises to save South Dakotans money but fails to follow through, President Joe Biden is offering tens of million of Americans the chance to save thousands of dollars and hear better with a simple executive order promoting capitalism:

In July, President Joe Biden signed an executive order meant to promote competition; it encouraged the US Food and Drug Administration allow over-the-counter, prescription-free hearing aids, and the FDA announced the long-awaited rule change in August. The move ushers in options that should be cheaper and possibly even better.

…On average, people spend at least $4,000 out of pocket for devices for both ears, according to a 2020 study published in the medical journal JAMA.

…The White House said Monday that hearing aids are available or coming soon at Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Best Buy and Hy-Vee, with some models priced as low as about $200 for a pair.

Sony has a couple of models that pair with an app that lets users personalize settings and find additional support. The CRE-C10 sells for $999.99 and has a battery life for up to 70 hours of continuous use. The CRE-E10 has more of an earbud-like design and a rechargeable battery; it is Bluetooth compatible to stream music or audio. It will be available for $1,299.99 on the Sony website and at Amazon, Best Buy and other retailers.

Bose also teamed up with Lexie Hearing to offer the B1 model for $899 a pair. The B2, for $999, adds a rechargeable battery that works for up to 18 hours. Both models are Bluetooth-enabled, can be tuned by the wearer and pair with a mobile app for support. They’ll be sold online, at drugstores and at stores like Best Buy [Jen Christensen, “A ‘Game-Changer’ for Millions of Americans: You Can Now Buy Hearing Aids over the Counter,” CNN, 2022.10.17].

President Biden’s over-the-counter hearing aids won’t just save Americans money. Helping more people correct hearing loss can save quality of life and the costs associated with treating dementia:

Hearing loss can lead to social isolation and loneliness. When people with hearing loss begin to feel uncomfortable in social situations, they often cut themselves off, which can lead to loneliness, loss of engagement in cognitively stimulating activities, and depression — all of which can increase a person’s risk for dementia.

Hearing loss overloads the circuitry of the brain. With hearing loss, the brain is constantly having to work harder to process the degraded sounds coming from the ear. Scientists say that when this happens, the brain may have fewer resources (brain power!) to help preserve thinking and memory abilities.

Hearing loss damages the brain. Hearing loss leads to the brain being less stimulated with sound information, and this in turn appears to be linked with parts of the brain shrinking and atrophying faster from this chronic deprivation. As you can probably guess, an atrophying brain is not a good thing!

Scientists estimate that hearing loss may be the biggest potentially treatable risk factor for dementia, accounting for more cases of dementia in the world than other risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking or low education [Dr. Frank Lin and Nicholas Reed, “3 Reasons Hearing Loss May Increase Dementia Risk,” AARP, 2022.10.10].

Expanded access to hearing aids can help reduce symptoms of depression, decrease the risk of falling, and, of course, help people communicate with each other and maintain their relationships.

Kristi Noem keeps complaining that Jamie Smith sounds too much like Joe Biden. Maybe Kristi should have gotten her ears checked along with her back. Sounding like Joe Biden means promoting competition to save Americans money and improve their quality of life.


  1. P. Aitch 2022-10-18 08:13

    OTC hearing aids (I’ll choose BOSE, as I’ve represented that worthy corporation in the past) are a monumental achievement. If its Joe “Steady” Biden’s fault gasoline is high, inflation is high, and Kristi Noem doesn’t want SD getting high at home on Saturday night then I suppose it’s fair to attribute this to Joe.

  2. sx123 2022-10-18 10:03

    I’ve always thought it silly that hearing aids require prescription but can buy ear buds otc no problem.
    Pretty sure people are smart enough, especially with an appropriate phone app, to fine tune the hearing aids.

  3. John 2022-10-18 10:06

    Finally!!!! I loathe most audiologists as mere over-educated agents for select hearing aid monopolistic corporations. They often spout a version of: ‘we service brands x, y, z, but not a, b, c’.. That self-selecting is unhelpful in flyover country – and it’s worse when the local sparse audiologist changes agency alliance.

    The next step is real OTC hearing aids, not mere amplifiers. Hearing is measured in frequency ranges. Men lose high frequencies as they age (that’s why gramps can’t hear grandma). True OTC hearing aids will allow the wearer to tweak frequencies via bluetooth app, Hearing amplifiers merely allow one to increase amplification, balance amplification across ears, and allow a degree of directional hearing (surround v conversation). True OTC hearing aids will also allow for language translation service via bluetooth app.

    I use BOSE amplifiers, They are okay for the price, but far from what I’d prefer or reasonably pay for (adjustable frequencies, language translation). Sure, my BOSE amps improved my life . . . yet my hearing can be much better. On the whole the audiology medical community is far lagging in restoring age and noise-induced hearing loss. Audiology medicine is on par with Garrett Morris’s skit, News for the Hard of Hearing.

  4. All Mammal 2022-10-18 11:04

    This is the best thing since the bifocal. I want people to see and hear how many simple improvements have been made in a short time for all Americans. Hopefully the SCOTUS doesn’t push us two steps backwards at every step forward that has been achieved lately. They are working hard to destroy every victory. The victories don’t discriminate like their tyranny does.

  5. mike from iowa 2022-10-18 12:48

    Try balancing a second HA when only one ear conducts sounds normally while the second ear transmits sounds through bone conduction. I can take a tuning fork, tap it and place it on forehead. I can hear it fine in ear with virtually zero hearing, whereas more normal ear doesn’t pick it up.

  6. mike from iowa 2022-10-18 12:51

    Lady who sold me my hearing aid years ago also tested my hearing every year so she could make appropriate corrections to my hearing range. She conducted an extra hearing test and sent the results to local and federal courts to have me excused from jury duty.

  7. Arlo Blundt 2022-10-18 13:59

    I spent $4,000 on mine. My wife says it was worth it…I’ll take her word.

  8. Mark Anderson 2022-10-18 15:24

    The last two years I taught I wore them. 8,000 DOLLARS for the pair. Haven’t worn them since, their too expensive.

  9. Arlo Blundt 2022-10-18 18:58

    The turning point for me was I had to have the Fox News volume on 50 in the morning when I tune n for today’s crazy right talking points. My wife threatened moving out…and not coming back. With the hearing aids, volume now at 29. She’s still hanging around, which is very pleasant.

  10. grudznick 2022-10-18 19:31

    grudznick is very glad for you, Mr. Blundt, as I would be sad if you lost something which was pleasant for you.
    I am also glad you listen to the FOX. I don’t get to very much as it urges my gut.

  11. Arlo Blundt 2022-10-18 20:23

    Grudz–I can take about a half hour of Fox while my breakfast is cooking..I like to hear what’s up with the far right…what lies are current…what non issues are cooking…what is the latest with Hunter Biden or Hilary…only the far right cares. Plus, I like a little news delivered with cleavage.

  12. grudznick 2022-10-19 00:03

    Good points, Mr. Blundt. If only grudznick had the funding Mr. Murdoch had so I could start my own Conservatives with Common Sense network. It would be somewhat like Fox News, but only for moderates, and we’d have much cleavage. Much. Think of the “Naked News” crossed with “Fox News” and a perpetual breakfast cooking show, and then add in your local KEVN Black Hills News anchors, but only the girl ones. On the CCSN, our slogan would be “Mostly Fair and Balanced” and our anchor women would be well balanced. Ifyouknowwhatimeanandithinkyoudo.

    Sleep tight with those thoughts, good sir.

  13. John 2022-10-19 08:33

    My BOSE amplifiers listed for about $999. I bought them on sale for under $600. This rule fostering more OTC hearing aids will disrupt the hearing aid corporate monopolies, upset the sales agent audiologists to no end, will decrease prices, and increase hearing aid capability.

    In some manner I suspect this a logical fall out from the greater medical, business, insurance cabal treating health issues differently: instead of “health” – they give us: body, teeth, hearing, vision. It’s all BS – health is one entity.

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