January 30, 2023

The party had pushed for the inclusion of a measure in the health and climate care package approved by the chamber on Sunday that would put a cap on $35 on insulin for those in Medicare and special coverage.
Senate passes Democrats'  Comprehensive healthcare and climate law
However, the senator decided that extending the cap to the private market was incompatible with the rules of the reconciliation process, which Democrats used to pass the legislation by a simple majority.

Democrats kept the provision in the bill anyway, but Republicans on Sunday raised a point of order that led to a vote that set a $35 cap for Medicare recipients only. The final vote was 57 to 43, with seven GOP senators joining all members of the Senate Democratic caucus in the vote – but a 60-vote threshold was needed to keep the private market provision in place.

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

long term mission

Democrats have long sought to bring down the price of insulin, which has skyrocketed over the years even though it only costs a few dollars to make. This has forced some Americans to rationalize medication, sometimes with disastrous consequences.
President Joe Biden called for the $35 cap in his March State of the Union address, and Democrats included it in the Rebuilding Better package, which the House passed last fall before it stalls in the Senate.

This year, Georgia Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock pushed a bill that would limit the cost of insulin to $35, as did Collins and Democratic Senator Jane Shaheen of New Hampshire in a bipartisan effort. Neither of them came forward.

More than 37 million people in the United States have diabetes — more than 1 in 10 Americans — though not everyone is aware of it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 7 million people depend 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 one Analytics From the Kaiser Family Foundation. More than a quarter of people with Affordable Care Act policies and about a third of those insured through a small business pay more than this limit.

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