The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Congressional Leaders Think Medicare Recipients Should Settle for Half Hearing

Nov 7, 2022

Hearing loss affects nearly one in nine people in this country. But for those who need computerized devices to help them hear, high prices make the condition all the more oppressive. Hearing aids can cost $4,000 or more per pair, which is why most health insurance policies including Medicare do not cover them or visits to the doctors who fit them for people.

In October, federal officials decided to let many more unregulated devices be sold without prescriptions. These devices basically make sounds louder, but they don’t adjust for different frequencies, as actual hearing aids do. They are a substitute for both real hearing exams and real quality hearing aids.

This new FDA policy was pushed by the bipartisan team of Democratic Senator Liz Warren and Republican Senator Chuck Grassley. It was certainly a gift to industry, but not so much to those with hearing loss. What is so great about providing a device that supplies half the performance for half the money?

People need the health care service of someone trained in diagnosing hearing loss. It’s not just about a gadget for sale. With all the accumulated wealth of this society, Congressional leaders look to compromise the health of the population, and call that a win. We don’t need dummy-down hearing aids, we need real, top-quality hearing appliances!

You can bet that the multitudes of millionaire seniors who sit in Congress, and all the other governing bodies, state and local, will be keeping their insurance and their quality hearing aids, instead of rushing to get the newer, cheaper version!