Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has announced that legislation to lower the cost of insulin will be a priority in that chamber in the next few weeks.
The bill under consideration would cap consumers’ out-of-pocket insulin costs at $35 per month without changing the price drug makers charge for insulin.
This is an effort on the part of the Democratic leadership to get some kind of drug reduction legislation through Congress this year because their more comprehensive bill that would empower the government to negotiate with drug makers to reduce consumers’ prices, limit year-to-year increases in the cost of medicines, and cap out-of-pocket costs is tied up in the Senate.
However, not all Democrats like this idea. Some say the insulin bill simply isn’t enough to lower Americans’ drug costs in a meaningful way. The bill would cap consumers’ out-of-pocket insulin costs at $35 per month without changing the price drug makers charge for insulin.
They believe that passing bills to cap copays on an individual basis will simply shift costs and lead to higher premiums and taxes for consumers and that by creating a partial solution it would take away from the mission to create a complete solution.
The purpose of trying to pass the insulin cost cap alone is meant to test whether it can get bipartisan support in coming weeks. It is expected that no Republicans will support legislation to lower overall drug costs, but Democrats are hoping they can get ten Republican to support the bill to lower insulin costs.