Measure to cap insulin at $35 falls short in the Senate

Insulin is displayed at Pucci’s Pharmacy in Sacramento, Calif., July 8, 2022. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. said this week that Democrats planned to add language to the economic package focused on climate and health care that will be aimed at reducing patients’ costs of insulin, the diabetes drug that can cost hundreds of dollars monthly. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

(NewsNation) — An attempt to cap the monthly cost of insulin at $35 in the private market failed Sunday, though the measure will apply to Medicare beneficiaries.

Seven Senate Republican senators voted to keep insulin prices capped at $35, three shy of the 10 needed to pass the measure with all 50 Democrats.

The Republicans who voted with the Democrats were Sens. Bill Cassidy (La.), Susan Collins (Maine), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (Miss.), John Kennedy (La.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Dan Sullivan (Alaska), The Hill reported.

Because it was shy of the 60 total votes needed to override a ruling from the Senate parliamentarian, the measure was not included in the Inflation Reduction Act approved this month, according to The Hill.

There’s a chance that you haven’t heard about this story. Most of the news outlets — 57% — who reported on the topic were left-leaning, according to NewsNation partner Ground News’ Blindspot report. 14% were right-leaning, and the remaining 29% were outlets aligned in the center of the political spectrum.

Insulin prices in the U.S. have risen considerably over the past few decades. From 2002 to 2013, the average price per milliliter of insulin nearly tripled from $231 to $731, according to the National Library of Medicine.

The cost is even higher for underinsured or uninsured Americans. Between 2012 and 2016, the average annual out-of-pocket cost of insulin per patient with Type diabetes swelled from $2,864 to $5,705, according to the National Library of Medicine.

Democrats won a partial victory Sunday when the parliamentarian allowed the $35 insulin cap to apply to Medicare beneficiaries, The Hill reported. The allowance has the potential to influence prices in the private market. 

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last month that the state would produce its own insulin to make the medication more accessible and affordable.

This story is part of NewsNation’s new “Blindspot” initiative in partnership with Ground News to provide readers with contextual, unbiased news they may not find covered by every media outlet.

The Whole Story

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on NewsNation