GOP removes insulin out-of-pocket cost cap from bill: ‘Republicans just publicly backed expensive insulin’

Republicans succeeded in removing the $35 monthly cap on insulin out-of-pocket costs for privately-insured patients from the tax and climate bills.

Senate lawmakers ruled that the provision, sponsored by Democratic Senator Rafael Warnock of Georgia, is largely unrelated to the federal budget. That gives Republicans an opportunity to raise procedural objections.

Abandoning the rule requires 60 votes to succeed. Seven Republicans sided with Democrats to keep the insulin cap in the bill, but it’s not enough. Democrats plan to use the Republican move to remove insulin caps in the fall midterms.

Many in the Republican Party support an amendment by Louisiana Sen. John F. Kennedy to instead provide government funds to subsidize insulin purchases by low-income individuals.

Democrats immediately blasted Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for voting to remove the $35 insulin cap in the tax bill.

“Republicans have just come out in favor of expensive insulin,” said Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. “After years of tough talk with insulin makers, Republicans at one point languished amid fierce opposition from Big Pharma.”

Voting with Democrats to keep the provision were Senators Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Josh Hawley, Cindy Hyde-Smith, John F. Kennedy, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan. The 57-43 vote fell short of the 60 needed.

Even if Republicans succeed in removing the cap on private insurance, the bill retains $35 a month for out-of-pocket insulin co-pays under Medicare.

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