“We need to lower costs for people and cap the price of insulin at $35 so millions of Americans have the medicine they need at a price they can afford.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin has cosponsored legislation to cap the out-of-pocket cost of insulin for Americans at $35 per month. The Affordable Insulin Now Act, led by Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), will require Medicare plans and private group or individual plans to cap patients’ out-of-pocket costs for insulin at $35 per month to lower costs for insulin users — many who are paying exorbitantly from their own pockets for insulin and other diabetic treatments. According to one estimate, diabetics spend close to $6,000 annually on insulin alone. This is all while costs for insulin are going up and manufacturers of the drug are pocketing more revenue from insulin sales than in prior decades.
“No one should lay awake at night wondering if the health care they have today will be gone tomorrow, and no one should go bankrupt just to get the medication they need to live a healthy life,” said Senator Baldwin. “We need to lower costs for people and cap the price of insulin at $35 so millions of Americans have the medicine they need at a price they can afford.”
Under the Affordable Insulin Now Act, private group or individual plans would be required to cover one of each insulin dosage form (vial, pen) and insulin type (rapid-acting, short-acting, intermediate-acting, and long-acting) for no more than $35 per month. Medicare Part D plans, both stand-alone drug plans and Medicare Advantage drug plans, would be required to charge no more than $35 for whichever insulin products they cover in 2023 and 2024, and for all insulin products beginning in 2025.
Costs to treat diabetes have continued to rise for many Wisconsinites and Americans: according to the Health Care Costs Institute, insulin prices nearly doubled from 2012 to 2016, with the average price for a 40-day supply of insulin increasing from $344 to $666 during that span. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical costs and lost work and wages for people with diagnosed diabetes total $327 billion yearly, and the American Diabetes Association has asserted that diabetics account for $1 of every $4 spent on health care in the U.S. At the same time, a 2021 bipartisan staff report from the Senate Finance Committee found that “[insulin] manufacturers are retaining more revenue from insulin than in the 2000s,” and that “the amount of revenue pharmaceutical manufacturers are retaining from insulin has risen.
Along with Senators Baldwin and Warnock, the Affordable Insulin Now Act is cosponsored by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).
The legislation is also endorsed by: American Diabetes Association; Protect Our Care; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); American Federation of Teachers, Community Catalyst, Public Citizen, and Social Security Works.
Read the full bill text here.
An online version of this release can be found here.