Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act riles Gun Owners of America
By Christen Smith
Gun Owners of America told House lawmakers last week to delete “anti-gun” language added to a prescription drug bill winding its way through Congress.
The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act, a bipartisan effort introduced in both chambers in March, would allow stores to sell hearing aids over-the-counter.
Currently, the devices face intense regulation by the Food and Drug Administration, can cost thousands of dollars and can be obtained via prescription only.
Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a prime sponsor, said the bill fixes all that by creating a new class of over-the-counter hearing aids. The proposal’s language also mandates the federal government reconsider the definition of Personal Sound Amplification Products, or PSAPs.
“Allowing hearing aids to be sold over the counter will help bring down costs and expand consumer choices so that millions more Americans can find affordable hearing aids,” Warren said in a March 20 press release. “This bill will loosen up outdated regulations and, with the right protections in place, let the market bring great products to Massachusetts residents at far lower costs.”
PSAPs — often found in the aisles of sporting goods stores and marketed toward hunters and bird watchers — by law can’t include wording on their labels or in advertisements suggesting the