by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Brent Scher of the Washington Free Beacon reports on opposition to the latest regulatory proposal from U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
More than 20 conservative organizations stated their opposition to proposed legislation from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) that would make hearing aids available over-the-counter, calling it a “big government ploy to create more regulations.”
The opposition was stated in a letter to Republican senator Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), who chairs the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee that is set to review the legislation on Wednesday. The groups, led by Frontiers of Freedom, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, and the Conservative Leadership PAC, say that the legislation will make sound amplification devises “more expensive and highly regulated.”
The groups argue that the legislation would pull all personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), which can currently be bought at a variety of stores by customers without medical hearing loss, into the highly regulated hearing-aid category.
“Anyone can buy these devices,” the letter states. “They simply amplify sound—not for people with medical hearing loss—but for those who want to amplify sound. Some use them for bird watching.”
“The bottom line is that PSAPs are not medical hearing aids and they don’t need to be regulated like medical hearing aids,” it states.
The letter argues that transitioning PSAPs to over-the-counter products could lead companies to mislead consumers into thinking that they were offering “some big, new innovation.”
“Sen. Warren wants to subjects PSAPs to FDA regulation and explicitly lock states out of any role in the process, and then designate these PSAPs as available ‘over-the-counter’ as if that were some big, new innovation—conveniently failing to mention that they are already available to anyone at thousands of stores.”