Despite new inflation package, insulin prices remain 'out of control'
WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — A big focus of the Inflation Reduction Act the Senate approved over the weekend was lowering health care costs, but the provision that would have capped insulin prices for many Americans did not make it into the bill.
Democratic lawmakers say the prices Americans are charged for insulin are out of control, and some Republican lawmakers tried to help Democrats implement a cap on insulin prices, but those efforts weren’t entirely successful.
Democrats have argued for years that Americans can’t afford to continue paying for the rising price of insulin.
“I’ve heard from people in my state who risked their lives and rationed their insulin to make end meet,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash) said.
In the Inflation Reduction Act, Democrats are capping insulin prices for Medicare recipients at $35 a month.
“It’s a big big win for millions of seniors,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said.
But an effort to extend that same insulin price cap for Americans with private insurance failed to make it into the final package.
“I believe this violates the rules of Senate reconciliation,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said.
Graham based his objection on the Senate parliamentarian, who ruled against including the provision for private insurance holders. Democrats tried to pass it anyway, but only won over seven of the 10 republicans they needed.
The remaining Republicans, including Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall, blocked the measure.
“What their legislation would do is simply pass that expense on along to somebody else. The real problem is pharmacy benefit managers,” he said.
The cap on insulin costs for Medicare recipients will begin next year if passed by the house and signed into law, which is expected to happen.