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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Republicans Block Insulin Costs For Many Americans From Democratic Deal

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Republican senators on Sunday voted down a cap on the price of insulin in the private market, removing it from Democrats’ sweeping climate and economic package.

Democrats had tried to uphold the provision to cap insulin costs for private insurers to $35, but that vote failed 57-43, with seven Republicans voting with them to take the insulin cost cap into account, three less than necessary.

The move was expected after a decision by the Senate MP, who previously found the insulin supply was not in line with the chamber’s strict budget rules. Democrats must abide by those rules to advance legislation called the Inflation Reduction Act without any Republican votes.

However, the legislation still includes a $35 copay cap on the price of insulin for seniors on Medicare.

After the vote, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden accused D-Ore. Republicans of yielding to drug industry pressure at the expense of citizens.

“Republicans just announced in favor of expensive insulin,” Wyden said in a statement. “After years of talking loudly about hiring insulin makers, Republicans once opposed wilting in the face of the heat of Big Pharma.”

“Fortunately, the $35 insulin copay cap for insulin in Medicare will remain in the bill, so seniors will get relief from high insulin costs. I will continue to work to provide lower insulin costs for all Americans,” he added.

Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy from Louisiana; Susan Collins of Maine; Josh Hawley of Missouri; Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi; and Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan of Alaska joined Democrats on Sunday to keep the insulin cap on private insurers.

Senators have been working on amendments all weekend after the House passed the bill on Saturday in a 51-50 procedural vote, with all Republicans opposing the motion to go through with the bill and Vice President Kamala Harris casting the casting vote. .

Senate Democrats aim to pass legislation on Sunday, bringing long-stalled elements of President Joe Biden’s agenda, including major spending to fight climate change and expand health coverage, one step closer to reality. . The package then goes to the House of Representatives, which currently plans to pass it on on Friday.

Julia Jester, Ali Vitalic, Julie Tsirkin and Frank Thorp V contributed.

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