Appearing on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Tuesday night, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate was asked if she agrees with the President on anything. After a long pause, she found one issue.
“Yes! Yes! He signed my bill into law that is going to bring down the cost of hearing aids for millions of people across this country,” she told Colbert.
Here’s what Warren was talking about:
Trump signed Warren’s Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017, which aims to make hearing aids more affordable and had bipartisan support. It requires the Food and Drug Administration to allow certain hearing aids to be sold over-the-counter to Americans with mild to moderate hearing loss.
“This law will make a life changing difference for millions of Americans who experience hearing loss but can’t access the hearing aid technology they need because of high costs and excessive regulations,” Warren said in a statement at the time of the President’s signing.
Medicare and most private insurance plans don’t cover hearing aids, which can cost on average $2,400 out-of-pocket for a single device, according to Warren. About 48 million Americans experience hearing loss as they grow older, but only a small share of them – about 14% – use the devices, mainly because of their price, Warren said.
The legislation was part of the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017.
Warren now supports “Medicare for All,” which would create a government-run health insurance plan that would cover hearing aids for all those who need them with no out-of-pocket cost.
The bill is sponsored by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is also seeking the Democratic nomination. He frequently cites the expansion of coverage to hearing aids – as well as vision and dental benefits – as ways that his legislation would improve Medicare for senior citizens.