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Lubbock ☎ : 806-687-4327 
Snyder ☎ : 325-284-3221

President Biden Labels Audiology as “Exploitation” In The Latest State of the Union Address | Why We’re Not Standing For It

02/09/2023 | Industry News, Local News, Patient Resources

President Biden Labels Audiology as “Exploitation”

This is not about politics.

However, I can speak on behalf of our entire industry when I say that I found myself highly frustrated (and incredibly offended) by President Biden’s recent State of the Union Address.

When speaking about his administrations impact on hearing care, he said: (Below quoted from the website)

Screenshot one

By muttering these few words, to the predicted 27 million Americans watching this speech live (and the tens of millions that have watched following), he’s suggested that our industry and the work that we do to help people to achieve better hearing as ‘extortion’ and ‘exploitation’.

Why is He Wrong?

Three reasons:

First of all, he is making a widely generic statement that is resulting in so much confusion, and is causing a lot of damage.

To declare that you can “finally get hearing aid(s) over the counter without a prescription” is a wild statement, as it contradicts what the FDA actually published which is that these devices are ONLY for people with a “perceived mild-to-moderate hearing loss”.

 This is resulting in people that clearly need treatment, or even worse, have a more serious medical concern related to their ear, self-diagnosing and cutting out the professional.

This is going to result in people missing serious medical challenges that would have been caught by a professional, and applying a band-aid to a wound that will worsen until properly treated.

Secondly, he’s entirely targeting the wrong group of people with his ‘capitalism’ message.

 In the Whitehouse’s orginal Executive Order published on July 09, 2021, they claimed that they wanted to introduce an over-the-counter option to promote competition.

The reason for this is in the screenshot below:

screenshot 2

The target for this order was to remove the monopoly of the four largest hearing aid manufacturers controlling 84% of the market, yet what this has resulted in is these same manufacturers now being able to sell ‘over-the-counter devices’ and grow their influence on the market, and hard-working audiologists like myself and my colleagues being villainized.

Thirdly, let’s discuss the word ‘exploitation’

For the president of the United States to mutter the word “exploitation” when talking about our industry, solely to promote the work of his administration, is incredibly offensive.

The core objective of their Executive Order was to help people with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss that otherwise would not be in a financial position to seek treatment by giving them a device for situational use.

To then declare that the advanced audiological work that we do for people who don’t meet the narrow group of people that OTC devices has been developed for is crazy, to call it ‘exploitation’ is simply a joke.

The work that myself and our passionate industry do changes lives, and Biden’s inconsiderate statement runs the risk of preventing people, who we would have been able to help, from seeking services that we offer to diagnose and treat their hearing loss properly.

Final Message

I want to thank you for reading this.

As you can probably tell, I am writing this because I am passionate about what we do to help our patients who suffer from hearing loss. This help we offer is a noble cause as we strive to care for them with a comprehensive approach to exceptional audiological care and the highest integrity possible.

I would find myself frustrated if a random person on the internet questioned our very pure intentions, but even more so when the president of our great country accuses the entire field of audiology of exploitation (by definition, exploitation is the action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work.) No sir. Untrue.

I cannot emphasize enough that if you have a hearing challenge, the solution is not a self-fitting widget from Walgreens; it’s to seek the help of an honest professional who can ensure that you make the right decisions.

If you have any questions or need any assistance, then please do not hesitate to contact us!

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Dr. Julie Hubik, Au.D., CCC-A - Doctor of Audiology & CEO

Dr. Hubik is the owner and founder of one of West Texas' most trusted and professional hearing providers, Cornerstone Audiology. She received her bachelor of science degree in communication disorders as well as her doctorate of audiology from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). In her youth, Dr. Hubik became interested in helping people with a hearing loss to communicate more effectively and therefore pursued a degree in this field. Dr. Hubik was born and raised in Anton, Texas, and appreciates working with the people of West Texas. She and her team are proud to serve the hearing needs of their community.

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