It’s getting to the point where President Joe Biden doesn’t just forget the things he’s done. He’s also taking credit for things he didn’t do.
Sure, this has happened before — but this seemed more a function of Biden’s tendency to lie, not to misremember. For instance, when he claimed he had been arrested trying to visit Nelson Mandela while Mandela was in prison in South Africa during the apartheid years.
That could easily be sussed out as a lie, if just because the timing couldn’t have been more transparent: Biden, then floundering in the early 2020 presidential primaries, desperately needed to win the black vote in South Carolina.
However, what are we to make of the deteriorating president and his patting himself on the back over a hearing-aids rule he had nothing to do with?
On Tuesday, Biden released a statement touting the fact that, supposedly thanks to his efforts, the devices are now available without a prescription.
“For millions of Americans, hearing aids and the doctor’s visit to get them prescribed are too expensive,” the statement read.
“In the executive order I issued last year to increase competition in key industries and lower costs, I called on the FDA to finally make hearing aids available over the counter.”
Now, Biden said, the Food and Drug Administration “is doing just that.”
“As early as mid-October, Americans will be able to purchase more affordable hearing aids over the counter at pharmacies and stores across the country,” he said in the statement.
“This action makes good on my commitment to lower costs for American families, delivering nearly $3,000 in savings to American families for a pair of hearing aids and giving people more choices to improve their health and wellbeing.”
He added that “it’s the latest action we are taking to make our economy more competitive and less concentrated. When too few companies dominate, American consumers pay higher costs. We’re finally building an economy that works for working families.”
While much of this is true, Biden is leaving out a major part of the equation: The initial legislation that made this possible, the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017, was passed as part of an FDA reauthorization bill under a Republican Congress and signed by former President Donald Trump.
As even Biden-friendly Washington Post acknowledged in its report Tuesday, “The move comes more than four years after Congress ordered the FDA to craft regulations for over-the-counter devices.”
Joe Biden today is taking credit for being able to buy hearing aids over the counter.
He fails to mention how the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act that allowed for this to happen was passed in 2017 and signed into law by President Donald J. Trump.
Thanks President Trump! pic.twitter.com/JLNfzcd8WH
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) August 16, 2022
Just so we’re clear, this was a bipartisan measure that required the FDA to create a category for over-the-counter hearing aids.
Biden’s role in this? The “Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy,” a missive that “called for the FDA to take steps to allow hearing aids to be sold over the counter and set a swift 120-day deadline for action, which the FDA met,” according to an FDA statement.
“Reducing health care costs in America has been a priority of mine since Day One and this rule is expected to help us achieve quality, affordable health care access for millions of Americans in need,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in the statement.
“Today’s action by the FDA represents a significant milestone in making hearing aids more cost-effective and accessible.”
But as for who did the heavy lifting to get the hearing aids on the market? Not a whisper.
Of course, this was a bill that didn’t have considerable opposition to begin with. Consider that, while it was signed by then-President Trump, it was also co-sponsored by Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, according to The Washington Post.
When a bill can get those two — and a whole lot of lawmakers in between — on the same page, it’s safe to say a measure is popular. Yet, we now have a president who isn’t bothering to publicly acknowledge either Warren or Trump.
Instead, Biden wants us to think that, with the stroke of a pen, he made this all happen. And that’s not the worst part.
No, the worst part is that you get the feeling, such is Biden’s memory, that he might just believe that, too.
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