The Senior Alliance's Monthly Advocacy Update

October 25, 2022

Volume 3.10

Welcome to The Senior Alliance's advocacy newsletter, COLLOQUY!
This monthly e-mail is a look at issues, legislation and policies impacting aging.

Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Now in Stores

The Biden Administration has enabled the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids at a lower cost by issuing a new administrative rule. This rule was issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as part of President Biden's Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy, issued in July. 

The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 was passed by the 115th United States Congress as part of the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017. This act created a class of hearing aids regulated by the FDA and made available directly to consumers for purchase without the involvement of an audiologistotolaryngologist, or audiometrist. Although the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017 was signed into law, it was not fully implemented until the recent FDA rule issuance. 

This action allows people with mild to moderate hearing loss to purchase hearing aids over the counter without the need for a medical exam, prescription, or fitting adjustment. The FDA rule enables older and disabled adults in our community to save money and gain access to crucial health care they may have been otherwise unavailable.

The Senior Alliance thanks those who advocated for and supported this crucial healthcare access change.

State Supplemental Appropriations Bill Passes Without Funding for Aging Services

On September 28th, the state legislature passed a $1 Billion economic and business development laden supplemental budget bill. The bulk of the spending bill contains $850 million for the Strategic Outreach & Attraction Reserve Fund (SOAR). SOAR supports the Critical Industry Program and the Michigan Strategic Site Readiness Program. Through this investment the state is allocating millions of dollars into economic grants and incentives.

The Senior Alliance and advocates around the state are continuing to push for more spending on aging related community-based programs and services in future supplemental appropriations. We will continue to monitor each supplemental appropriation and advocate for older adults as debate continues.

Michigan Elections and Ballot Proposals Approaching

Legislature adjourned on September 28th and will not return for session until after the November general election. Governor Whitmer and challenger Tudor Dixon have already completed one debate and are set to conduct another on October 25th. 

Three constitutional ballot proposals appear on the statewide ballot that Michiganders will weigh on come November 8th. Proposal 1 contains changes to the legislative term limits and financial discourses. Proposal 2 is an initiative seeking to change multiple items related to voting rights and access. Lastly, Proposal 3 is the Reproductive Freedom for All initiative. 

Be sure to get out an vote on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Absentee applications and ballots are available from your municipal clerk's office now.

"Inside The Senior Alliance" Podcast

Our podcast series, "Inside The Senior Alliance," provides to-the-point information about our programs and services. Just search for "The Senior Alliance" to find it on Spotify, Amazon, Apple, Stitcher, Google and other podcast platforms. Most episodes are less than 15 minutes long.

The first episode answers the question, "What is The Senior Alliance?" Other installments provide overviews of the MI Choice Waiver program, the Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP), our Supports Coordination function, our Information & Assistance service, Housing Coordination, the Long Term Care Ombudsman, the Michigan Senior Advocates Council, our Advisory Council, the Meals-on-Wheels Program, Direct Care Workers, Advocacy Overview, State Representative Laurie Pohutsky, the Friendly Reassurance program, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, the Alzheimer's Association of Michigan, AARP of Michigan, and Jewish Family Service.

Click the button below to listen via our website.

Click Here for "Inside The Senior Alliance" Podcasts
Advocacy Questions: Please contact Emma Olson, Advocacy & Planning Specialist, with any advocacy or public policy questions via e-mail at
If you've received our monthly advocacy update, COLLOQUY, from a friend or colleague and would like to subscribe just click the button below or send an e-mail to:
Subscribe to COLLOQUY
The Senior Alliance, Area Agency on Aging 1C
5454 Venoy Road, Wayne, MI 48184
Facebook  Twitter  Linkedin