The $35 insulin cap would only affect Medicare recipients
The original text included provisions that would cap insulin prices for Medicare patients and people with private insurance, but the latter did not garner enough support.
More than 37 million Americans have diabetes, a chronic disease that affects the way the body turns food into energy. Many of those living with diabetes need insulin to survive, but the price of the drug in the United States is often expensive.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a bill recently passed by the U.S. Senate, includes the largest federal effort on climate change and aims to reduce rising costs of goods while paying for debt of the nation. It also includes provisions to increase access to affordable health care.
On social media, some people claim that Senate Republicans removed a provision from the bill to cap insulin prices at $35 a month for all Americans.
Does the Inflation Reduction Act cap insulin prices?
The Inflation Reduction Act caps insulin prices only for Medicare patients, not for those with private insurance.
The original text of the bill included a provision that extended the $35 insulin limit to Americans covered by private insurance. But it was pulled from the bill by the Senate lawmaker, forcing a separate vote on the provision that failed to garner enough GOP support to pass.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 caps insulin prices at $35 a month for some Americans, but not all.
The bill package included a proposal to put a $35 monthly cap on the cost of insulin for Medicare patients. More than 63 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare, and 1 in 3 Medicare patients has diabetes, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
The original bill also included a provision that extended the $35 insulin cap to Americans covered by private insurance. However, Senate Rep. Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that the private insurance portion of the cap did not meet strict budget rules.
That forced the Senate to vote to include the cap for people with private insurance. They needed 60 votes to pass it and avoid a filibuster. Only 57 senators voted for it and 43 Republicans voted against it, so it was removed from the bill. As a result, the version of the Inflation Reduction Act passed by the Senate caps insulin prices at $35 a month for Medicare patients only.
Along with the insulin cap, the bill would also expand enhanced federal tax credits to save millions of people an average of $800 a year in health insurance premiums in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces and limit the amount of money people with Medicare Part D pay out-of-pocket for prescription drugs to $2,000 a year, according to CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure.
“With this bill, millions of Americans will see lower health care costs,” Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in an Aug. 7 statement. “Also, it will do something we’ve tried — and failed — to do in Washington for decades: Allow Medicare to negotiate a better deal on prescription drugs. No one should go without the health care or prescription they need because can’t afford it.”