Letters to the Editor

James A. McGrath: Hearing aid scams

Your June 6 editorial “Medicare should help with hearing” could not have been more well taken.

As a once communications electrician in the U.S. Navy many years ago, I can acknowledge that hearing aid electronics are not at all costly,and that most are produced overseas by child labor.

I estimate the total material cost of a typical hearing aid not to be more than a hundred dollars, but the unwarranted high costs have kept the insurance carriers and Medicare at a noticeable distance from coverage.

I have been one of the high-priced users for over 11 years. The national hearing aid industry has enjoyed many, many years of scamming the hard of hearing general public, who have no other place to go to obtain relief from the terrible reality of not being able to hear normally.

My bet is that members of Congress and the FDA people who need hearing assistance are gifted with free industry samples, otherwise we would see totally different laws regarding the sale of this equipment.

If allowed, I would guess corner drug stores could carry usable merchandise for far less than the average “hearing aid” producer or so-called expert audiologist.

James A. McGrath