House Democrats Pass Bill To Limit Cost Of Insulin To No More Than $35 Per Month
The House passed a bill on Thursday aimed to cap the out-of-pocket cost of insulin to $35 per month or 25% of an insurance plan’s price for those with private health insurance or Medicare, whichever is less.
The Affordable Insulin Now Act, which garnered a 232-193 vote is slated to go into effect in 2023 if passed by the Senate. Ten Republican Senators would need to join all fifty of the left-wing Senators for the bill to pass.
One of the bill’s sponsors, Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee (Michigan), had a personal reason for putting the bill forward.
“As a father of a Type 1 diabetic, I have seen firsthand how the high price of prescription drugs like insulin can harm patients and harm families,” he said on the House floor before the vote. “When my daughter turned 26 and got her own health insurance, there were months where she spent a third of her take-home pay — because she’s diabetic — on staying alive.”
The bill was originally attached to President Joe Biden‘s Build Back Better social spending bill. As the larger bill was stalled in the Senate by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), the insulin provision was carved out.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) spoke to reporters about the importance of the bill ahead of the vote on Thursday.
“One in four Americans is forced to skip or ration doses of insulin and that’s life-threatening,” she said.
Critics of the bill, like Republican Rep. Buddy Carter (Georgia), said that lowering the prices for drugs, and especially insulin is needed, but the current bill won’t get to the root of the problem.
“Instead of fixing a broken system, this bill aims to control it,” he said, calling the bill a “socialist plan.”
AHIP, a national association that represents healthcare providers also opposed the bill.
“While health insurance providers work to reduce insulin costs, this policy, unfortunately, does nothing to lower the price of insulin but simply shifts costs to others through higher insurance premiums and copays,” they wrote in a statement.