Washington, D.C. — Today, one week after introducing the Affordable Insulin Now Act, Congresswoman Lucy McBath participated in a press conference with Congressman Dan Kildee and Protect Our Care to highlight the critical need for legislative action on the rising cost of insulin. Joining Rep. McBath and Rep. Kildee on the press conference were Brad Woodhouse, Protect Our Care Executive Director; Brooks Bellman, a 28-year-old Type 1 Diabetic from Atlanta; and Dr. Morris Brown, an endocrinologist from Atlanta. A video of the press conference is available here.
“We have an opportunity right now to change lives and save lives,” McBath said. “Just last night, America listened as President Biden voiced his support for legislation that would cap the cost of insulin at $35 a month. I am so proud to join my colleagues and lead legislation that would benefit families across the country and help provide certainty and affordability to the Americans everywhere who need insulin to live full and healthy lives.”
“No one should have to choose between taking their medication and putting food on the table. At a time when Big Pharma is making record profits, Congress must do more to lower costs,” Kildee said. “As President Biden said in his State of the Union address, now is the time to cap the cost of insulin at $35 per month. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to pass this legislation and lower costs for Michigan families and seniors.”
“Insulin is a hormone everyone in the world needs to live,” said Brooks Bellman. “Non-diabetic people have access to it completely for free, but diabetics are price-gouged and forced into insulin, food rationing and other tough circumstances because they need it from an outside source. A $35 copay cap would be an excellent first step in reducing the cost burden on diabetics with insurance.”
“About eight percent of the population in this country has diabetes. That's probably 20 to 25 million people,” said Dr. Morris Brown. “The cost of insulin can run to 200 plus dollars a month, depending on how much insulin you're taking. To go to $35 a month would be huge. In my experience, diabetics are Republicans and diabetics are Democrats. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why this is not a bipartisan issue, and why it doesn't, on a voice vote, pass the House and the Senate.”
“Drug company greed has forced millions of diabetics to pay outrageous prices for a medication that has been around for a century,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “In the wealthiest nation on earth, no one should be risking their life by rationing or skipping doses because they can’t afford the medication they need. Representatives Kildee and McBath’s bill capping out-of-pocket insulin costs to $35 a month for diabetics with insurance is a critical step to drive down prescription drug prices. It will put more money in families’ pockets and give them peace of mind knowing they won’t have to choose between purchasing this lifesaving medication and putting food on the table.”
During last night’s State of the Union address, President Biden proposed capping the cost of insulin at $35 per month. McBath’s virtual guests to the address were Kimberly Schneller and her eight-year-old son, Evan. Evan lives with Type 1 juvenile diabetes and requires insulin; he is among the 1 in every 10 Georgians who may need this medication at some point in their lives.
The Affordable Insulin Now Act would cap out-of-pocket costs of insulin products at $35 per month for people with private health plans and Medicare Part D plans, including Medicare Advantage drug plans. For commercial plans, $35 dollars would cover the cost of a monthly supply of insulin. For Medicare plans, the bill will cap the cost of all insulin products currently covered by Medicare at $35 a month in out-of-pocket costs. The Affordable Insulin Now Act is a companion measure to legislation introduced by Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock in the Senate, which has also been cosponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.