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USA: The GOP blocked an insulin price cap - what it means for diabetics

The Senate passed a sweeping budget package Sunday intended to bring financial relief to Americans, but not before Republican senators voted to strip a proposal that would have capped the price of insulin at $35 per month for many patients.

A proposal that limits the monthly cost of insulin to $35 for Medicare patients was left untouched. But using a parliamentary rule, GOP lawmakers were able to jettison the part of the proposal that would apply to privately insured patients.

Lowering the price of drugs such as insulin, which is used by diabetics to manage their blood sugar levels, is broadly popular with voters, polling shows. Senate Democrats denounced Republicans for voting against relief for Americans struggling to pay for the lifesaving drug.

More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, and about 7 million require insulin daily to manage their blood sugar levels.

The insulin price cap, part of a larger package of proposals to cut prescription drug and other health-care costs, was intended to limit out-of-pocket monthly insulin costs to $35 for most Americans who use insulin.

More than 1 in 5 insulin users on private medical insurance pay more than $35 per month for the medicine, according to a recent analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The same analysis found that the median monthly savings for those people would range from $19 to $27, depending on their type of insurance market.

A Yale University study found insulin is an “extreme financial burden” for more than 14% of Americans who use it. These people are spending more than 40% of their income after food and housing costs on the medicine.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: The Washington Post, 8 August 2022


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