September 25, 2022

The party had pushed to include a measure in the climate and health care package it passed Sunday that would have put a $35 cap on insulin for those on Medicare and with private coverage.
Senate passes Democrats' sweeping health care and climate bill
But the Senate lawmaker ruled that extending the cap to the private market did not comply with the rules of the reconciliation process, which Democrats used to pass the legislation with a simple majority.

Democrats kept the provision in the bill anyway, but Republicans on Sunday raised a procedural issue that led to a vote limiting the $35 cap to Medicare beneficiaries only. The final vote was 57-43, with seven GOP senators joining all members of the Senate Democratic Caucus in voting — but a 60-vote threshold was needed to preserve the private purchase provision.

The seven GOP senators who supported the measure were Susan Collins of Maine, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, both of Louisiana, and Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both of Alaska.

Long term shipping

Democrats have long tried to lower the price of insulin, which has skyrocketed over the years even though it costs only a few dollars to make. This forced some Americans to resort to the drug, sometimes with fatal consequences.
President Joe Biden called for the $35 cap in his State of the Union address in March, and Democrats included it in the sweeping Build Back Better package, which passed the House last fall before stalling in the Senate.

This year, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia promoted a bill that would cap the cost of insulin at $35, as did Collins and Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire in a bipartisan effort. Neither has progressed.

More than 37 million people in the U.S. have diabetes — more than 1 in 10 Americans — though not everyone knows it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 7 million people rely on insulin.

About a fifth of those who take insulin and have health coverage through large employers pay more than $35 a month for the drug, according to analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation. More than a quarter of people with Affordable Care Act policies and nearly a third of those insured through a small employer pay more than this limit.

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