Republicans block insulin price cap for private insurance in Inflation Reduction Act

During Sunday’s Inflation Reduction Act bill voting session, Republican lawmakers voted to block a portion of the suggested $35 price cap on insulin that Democrats hoped would apply to patients on both Medicare, as well as those using private insurance. 

According to The Washington Post, “Republicans left the portion that applies to Medicare patients untouched but stripped the insulin cap for other patients.”

“The cost of insulin isn’t just out of control,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said on the Senate floor, imploring the GOP not to strip the price cap from the bill per The Washington Post’s report. “This should not be a hard vote to cast.”

While things did not shake out as hoped, the vote for the cap block did include some votes from Republicans with a final tally of 57-43, but it was not enough to send it through in the way the bill intended as initially proposed. 

“Republicans have just gone on the record in favor of expensive insulin,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) “After years of tough talk about taking on insulin makers, Republicans have once against wilted in the face of heat from Big Pharma.”

In coverage of the vote by Axios the GOP thinking behind their vote argues that extending the cap to both Medicare and private insurance “violated the rules of reconciliation after the Senate parliamentarian ruled that it is not primarily related to the federal budget.”

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“Thirty-seven million people in our country have diabetes, and it’s absolutely wrong that many of them cannot afford the insulin they need to live,” says Senate Health Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.). “I’ve heard from people in my state who risk their life and ration insulin to make ends meet, all the while drug companies are jacking up prices.” 

Senator Lindsey Graham, who made the morning news circuit this morning speaking out against the Inflation Reduction Act as something that will make “everything worse,” cast his vote under the belief that the “cap on insulin prices violated the Byrd Rule because it would set prices in the commercial market,” according to The Hill

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