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Dingell Applauds FDA Rule Expanding Hearing Aid Access

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) released the following statement on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) final rule to establish a new category of over-the-counter hearing aids, which will expand access and lower costs.
“Hearing aids aren’t a luxury, they are critical for millions of people to maintain a healthy, independent lifestyle. Today’s FDA rule will make hearing aids accessible and affordable to Americans who otherwise may not ever have been able to get treatment. I thank the Biden-Harris Administration for their commitment to expanding hearing health care for those who need it most and look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure all Americans have access to the resources they need. While this step by the FDA is a great one, we must continue to expand access by allowing Medicare to cover hearing aids for beneficiaries to ensure no one is without critical treatment. It’s simple: No one should feel isolated, confused, or shutout from the world because they can’t afford hearing aids.” 
Hearing loss affects nearly 48 million Americans and, left untreated, has serious emotional, social and medical consequences for older adults. Research has shown older adults with hearing loss are 32 percent more likely to require hospitalization, face a 24 percent increased risk for cognitive impairment, and increasingly suffer from isolation and depression. A 10-year longitudinal study of patients in Baltimore found that those with hearing loss had a higher probability of developing dementia, with the probability rising as the severity of the hearing loss increased.
Expanding hearing health care has long been one of Rep. Dingell’s top priorities. She first introduced legislation to allow Medicare to provide coverage for hearing aids in 2015. 

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