By Gayle Trotter, contributor – 05/01/17 07:00 PM EDT
With Donald Trump’s victory last November, and a number of regulatory rollbacks made by the young administration, conservatives have the impression that the era of expansive federal regulations was over. With GOP control over Congress and the White House, Republicans finally have the chance to put a stop to what seemed to be a never ending carousel of new Obama regulations.
Yet they may be embracing a new regulatory scheme, courtesy of potential 2020 Democrat frontrunner Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). A recent regulatory proposal advanced by Sen. Warren not only increases red tape but could increase costs for health care consumers, including veterans and Medicaid patients, and is another power grab of the federal government over an area currently well overseen by the states.
The Over the Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2016 pilfers authority over personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) from the states and establishes a one-size-fits-all mandate from Washington, D.C., for all 50 states, regardless whether the state’s current laws are appropriate for the state’s citizens.
The bill conflates two categories of devices: hearing aids and PSAPs. Hearing aids are medical devices. Patients receive hearing aids after meeting with medical professionals who assess their condition and the severity of their hearing loss. A hearing aid is a personalized device to fix hearing loss, and they are treated and regulated as medical devices by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
PSAPs are sold over the counter. They are not considered medical devices by the FDA, and they are not subject to the stringent regulations of hearing aids. PSAPs do not treat hearing loss that is at the moderate level or above the moderate level.