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My grandfather was a prideful man. And I used to think the main reason he didn’t wear a hearing aid as he got older was because of pride. But as I learned working on the Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aid Act it was likely due to the ridiculous cost of hearing aids not covered by Medicare. They could cost upwards of $5,000, sometimes more.

That’s where tech and innovation come in.

The OTC Hearing Aid Act was one of the most rewarding issues I’ve had the opportunity to work on at the Consumer Technology Association. It wasn’t an easy legislative fight. But at the end of the day, tech and innovation won and the bill was signed into law in 2017.

Finally, today the FDA put out its final rule creating a regulatory scheme that will allow for lower-priced, tech forward over-the-counter hearing aids to address mild to moderate hearing loss.

Technology and innovation are making what seemed like a luxury to some accessible to many who would have otherwise suffered in silence.

Thank you to the Members of Congress who championed this on the Hill, KR Liu who was willing to spend countless hours on the Hill sharing her story, and the Biden Administration for making this a priority and getting it across the finish line.