WASHINGTON – The House on Thursday passed a bill limiting the monthly cost of insulin for insured patients to $ 35, part of an election-year push by Democrats to reduce the price of prescription drugs amid rising inflation.
Experts say the law, which passed 232-193, would provide significant relief for privately insured patients for the Schimper plan and for those with Medicare enrollment to face rising out-of-pocket costs for their insulin. Some can save hundreds of dollars annually, and all insured patients will benefit from an estimated monthly cost for insulin. The bill will not help the insured.
But affordable insulin will now serve as a political vehicle to rally Democrats and force Republicans who oppose it to vote uncomfortably before the medium term. To pass the law in Congress, 10 Republican senators must vote in favor. Democrats have admitted they have no answer as to how this will happen.
“If 10 Republicans are able to access affordable insulin among the American people, that’s a good question to answer for 10 Republicans,” said Dan Kildi, D-Mitch, co-editor of the House Bill. “Republicans also get diabetes. Republicans die of diabetes. “
But Republican Kathy McMurray Rogers, R-Wash, complained that the law was only “a small part of a larger package around government price controls for prescription drugs.” Critics say the bill would raise premiums and fail to target pharmaceutical intermediaries seen as contributors. High list price for insulin.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, says Democrats could strike a deal on prescription drugs if they drop their bids to approve Medicare for price negotiations. “Do Democrats really want to help seniors, or will they have campaigning problems?” Grassley says.
The Insulin Bill, which will take effect in 2023, introduces a provision in President Joe Biden’s Social and Climate Act for a more comprehensive prescription drug package.
In addition to a similar 35 cap on insulin, Biden Bill will allow Medicare to bargain for the price of various drugs, including insulin. It will penalize drug makers who raise prices faster than inflation and modify the benefits of Medicare prescription drugs to limit out-of-pocket costs for those listed.
Biden’s agenda was passed in the House only to be postponed in the Senate because Democrats could not reach a consensus. Party leaders have not given up hope of reintroducing the law and keeping its drug price controls largely intact.
The idea of a $ 35 monthly cost cap for insulin actually has a two-way genealogy. The Trump administration created a voluntary option for Medicare enrollees to get insulin at 35 35, and the Biden administration has continued to do so.
In the Senate, Maine Republican Susan Collins and New Hampshire Democrat Jean Shaheen are working on a bipartisan insulin bill. Georgia Democratic Sen. Rafael Warnak has introduced similar legislation in the House Bill in support of New York Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Stunned by criticism that Biden’s economic policies are encouraging inflation, Democrats are redoubled in their efforts to show people how to help them spend. On Thursday, the Commerce Department reported that inflation rose 6.4% in February compared to a year earlier, the largest increase year-on-year since January 1982.
But experts say the House bill will not help the uninsured, who face the most out-of-pocket costs for insulin. Also, people with diabetes often take insulin as well as other medications. This is done to treat diabetes itself, often associated with other serious health conditions. House law will not help with those costs. Collins says he is looking for ways to help uninsured people through his bills.
About 37 million Americans have diabetes and an estimated 6 million to 7 million use insulin to control their blood sugar. It is an old medicine, refined and improved over the years, the price of which has risen steadily.
Steep list prices do not reflect the rate at which insurance plans are negotiated with manufacturers. But the prices on that list are used to calculate the cost-sharing amount that patients owe. Patients who are unable to reduce or avoid their insulin dose have a strategy born out of depression, which can lead to serious complications and even death.
Sherry Glide, an economist at New York University, said the insulin market is a “complete disaster” for many patients, especially those with lazy insurance plans or no insurance.
“This would make personal insurance much more attractive for people with diabetes,” said Glide.