Will Donald Trump help bring down the cost of hearing aids?

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Paul Dietsch - Hearing Healthcare Provider in Oceanside
20 January 2017 - 553 Views

The president has no direct power over the price of hearing aids. There was a bill to give a tax credit when you buy hearing aids but it did not pass. H.R.1882 and S.315 are the bills. Write to your congressmen and women to tell them you want it to pass. Trump says he will make them listen now so maybe it is a good time to try again.

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Hearing Oracle Abram Bailey - 10 months ago
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Paul, actually the hearing aid tax credit bill was just reintroduced: "Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) have introduced hearing aid tax credit legislation (S. 48), which would provide for a $500 tax credit toward the purchase of a hearing aid. Medicare excludes coverage of hearing aids, resulting in a high cost obstacle for many people who choose not to treat their hearing loss. If implemented, the tax credit would apply to all individuals and could be used every five years. The legislation is identical to S. 315, which was introduced in January 2015." Here's the link to take action http://takeaction.asha.org/asha/app/write-a-letter?0&engagementId=275373

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Chipman
Sarah Chipman, AuD - Doctor of Audiology in Layton
20 January 2017 - 553 Views

The President of the United States doesn't have direct control over the price of hearing aids.  He can nominate secretaries who oversee departments like the FDA and the FTC and HHS, and he can encourage Congress to write and to pass laws that affect the cost of healthcare, but he doesn't write the laws.  Plus, he is a capitalist, and I'm pretty sure he thinks hearing aid manufacturers should be able to make money.

Honestly, hearing aids cost you so much because they cost professionals so much.  They cost us hundreds to well over a thousand dollars per device just for us to obtain it in order to sell it to you.  They also cost us years of education and experience in order to help you use them effectively in order to help your brain understand speech more easily.  You are paying for the device and also for the fitting services.  Think of a car - the device costs a lot of money, but the government made rules for how to build it and use it safely, someone spent hours teaching you how to operate it (whether you paid for your driving instruction or not), and even after you know how to use it, you still need a mechanic to keep it working for you over the years.  All these things cost money to allow you to drive a car, and similar things cost money to allow you to use hearing aids safely and effectively.

There is a lot of information in the news recently that is sponsored by electronics companies who want to be able to sell "over the counter" hearing aids.  They haven't spent years researching how the ear works, or how the nerves work, or how the brain actually understands all that neurological information.  They haven't spent time developing devices that fit the ear well, won't break easily, won't short out if they are splashed with water, and actually sound good.  They just want to be able to make cheap hearing aids and sell them and make lots of money.  So they put information in the news to make you think hearing aids are price-fixed, and they completely discount all the time and money that went into the research and learning that make hearing aids different from cheap sound amplifiers.

If you want a cheap "hearing aid", buy a personal sound amplifier or download an amplifier app for your cell phone.  If you only have mild hearing loss, you may do well with it.  President Trump doesn't have to do a thing for you to have access to those things - they're already available in electronics stores, in many department stores and drug stores and pharmacies, and online. But if you want a custom-fit medical device that has years of research backing why it works, and a highly-trained professional with years of experience troubleshooting the crazy things electronic sounds amplifiers can do, come see an audiologist (or a good hearing aid dispenser).  We have your best hearing ability as our top priority, no matter who is President of the United States!

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Member Paul Dietsch - 10 months ago
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You are a capitalist as well.

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Member Sarah Chipman - 10 months ago
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Yes, I am. Money is what feeds my family, and I'm blessed to live in a place where I could obtain an education and find a job that lets me help people as I earn that money to keep us fed.

When I said President Trump was a capitalist, I meant that he made a lot of money as a businessman, and I doubt that he would want to restrict the earnings of hearing aid manufacturers or electronics manufacturers. Strictly my opinion, and time may prove me wrong.

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Lee Oreskovich - Hearing Healthcare Provider in Omaha
26 January 2017 - 496 Views

The price of hearing aids is based on the technology level a patient is needing and the manufacture. The President may have an affect on health care in general but doesn't tell providers what the price of hearing aids should be.

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James roberson
James Roberson, BC-HIS - Hearing Healthcare Provider in Cordova
23 January 2017 - 511 Views

I believe this question alludes to the general costs of hearing aids and I am not certain what a connection to the executive branch of our US government has to do with it. Hearing aid pricing has almost always been steeped in controversy. This is true also, however, of most all other products sold in the freemarket place known as capitalism. Several truths should be illuminated here. First, can one really put a price on the quality of life? Quality of life is subjective but is governed by the need to conform to general consensus in order to reach beyond mediocrity. Actual costs of hearing aids based on the past 100 years of GDP and other economic growth factors has changed relative to the costs of all goods and services over the past 100 years. Not more, not less. The cost of a hearing device in the 1920's was close to $300. That was more than half the income of the average worker during those years. As a hearing healthcare provider, I fully understand the delimma placed upon individuals with hearing loss to weigh the costs of purchasing hearing aids vs not doing so. No one can argue with personal economics and should not feel forced to go against their better judgment in these most personal of matters. Research indicates that not getting bona fide help through needed  hearing aids potentially far outwieghs the out-of-pocket costs (i.e. safety issues, fatigue and stress of the daily second guessing of communications, isolation, depression, potential degredation of the brain's plasticity and the correlation among demetia and the onset of Alzheimer's Disease, to name a few. The costs of hearing aids is not likely to decrease based on the history of control factors in the industry (i.e. primarily the big "6" manufacturers, overhead costs, the lack of mass production due to lower sales vs. need, etc.). It is possible that monies could be allocated for better state and federal programs to help mitigate the costs, however. Whether the Donald becomes involved remains to be seen. Write your Congressman.

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Harry Hilderman , BSc - Hearing Healthcare Provider in Topeka
20 January 2017 - 553 Views

At the current time, we can not tell what legislation President Trump will introduce. Only time will tell.

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