Republican senators on Sunday removed a $35 insulin cap for patients with private insurance plans from Democrats’ $740 billion tax and climate spending bill that the party will soon pass along party lines.
Democrats had sought to include the cap under both private plans and Medicare, but the Senate parliamentarian ruled that it could not apply to private insurance under the chamber’s budget rules that allow Democrats to approve the legislation with a simple majority and subvert the filibuster.
As a result, 60 votes were needed — all Democrats and at least 10 Republicans — on an amendment to keep the $35 insulin cap for private insurance carriers in the legislation known as the Inflation Reduction Act. It failed 57-43.
The seven GOP senators who sided with all 50 Democrats to pass the amendment were Susan Collins of Maine, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, and Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
A separate amendment by Mr. Kennedy to repurpose funds from Obamacare to community health centers for discounted insulin for low and middle-income Americans failed along party lines.
Deputy White House press secretary Andrew Bates accused Republicans of choosing “corporate welfare over the middle class.”
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While the price cap for those with Medicare is a win for Democrats, the exclusion of those with private insurance will mean millions of patients will continue to face rising insulin costs.
The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that more than 1 in 5 insulin users with private insurance pay more than $35 per month, and Yale University found that 14% of the roughly 7 million Americans who require daily insulin use spend upwards of 40% of their income after food and housing on insulin.