Democrats are resorting to insulin because of the suspension of the Democrats’ health agenda

Politics is a top priority for Sens. Jana Shahin (DNA) and Raphael Warnock (D.), One of his The party’s most vulnerable members are elected in November, as are other Democratic proposals to cut health care costs – expand Medicaid, extend Obamacare subsidies, which expire at the end of the year, and give the federal government the right to trade. Reducing the price of certain medicines – Stay on the ice.

But while Democrats want to campaign for a tangible victory, the plan has drawn criticism from right-wingers and left-wingers, highlighting the challenges ahead.

After a week of grumbling from the healthcare industry, advocacy groups and like-minded lawmakers that the insulin threshold alone could not solve the major problem of high drug prices, Sumer said it would pool capital. Led by Warnock Reps in Senate and Front Swing District. Lucy Macbeth (D-ga.) And Dan Kild (D-Mikh.) In the Chamber, by a bipartisan bill Sen. Shahen’s sister Susan Collins (R-Maine).

Details of the Shaheen-Collins bill are still being negotiated, but Shaheen told POLITICO that it is aimed at pharmacy intermediaries known as pharmacy benefit managers who negotiate the price of insulin and other medications and try to reduce the cost of insulin. Yet defined mechanism.

“You just have to talk to people about the high cost of prescription drugs in general, to know that this is not just a problem for people with type 1 and type 2. [diabetes]. “This is an issue for everyone who takes medication in any long-term way,” he said. “Apart from looking at out-of-pocket expenses, which is very important, we also need to look at what determines the price of insulin, what PBMs really are, and how the discount program works. We need to achieve this and also look at the cost of repayment. “

Folding taxes together offers the brilliance of bipartisanship and responds to some members ’concerns that the Warnock approach alone will simply increase the cost of insulin to insurers and taxpayers rather than reduce it. But it also gives more food to opponents, including Republicans and powerful players in the pharmaceutical industry, who oppose government regulation of drug prices.

Some lawmakers and progressive activists also warn that focusing solely on insulin will contribute to the party’s wider social spending package, which the House passed last year but was suspended due to Senate opposition. Joe Mancini (DW.V.)

“Often, the problem we have in Washington is that if we create a partial solution, we are moving away from the mission to create a complete solution. Susan Wilde (D-Penn.) Told reporters on the last call. “[The insulin bill] It does not help people who need other expensive medicines … in general, it is not enough. “

Democrats, who have seen their health ambitions crushed over the past two years, are trying to find a middle ground that will satisfy their base and garner at least 10 Republican votes in the Senate. An overly narrow bill threatens to be considered inadequate. However, the more inclusive it becomes, the more forces will mobilize against it, as the Democrats recently experienced when trying to carry out large-scale drug price reforms in President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan.

The powerful insurance industry, for example, has already come out against out-of-pocket insulin spending cuts.

“Reducing the cost-sharing simply changes the cost of insulin – it does not reduce them,” said David Allen, a spokesman for the US Health Insurance Plan. “Instead of paying for their expensive medicines at the pharmacy counter, patients will be paid insurance premiums and co-payments.”

The group did not answer questions about a new plan to merge insulin pricing with other reforms.

Pharmacy Benefit Managers And drug makers who have successfully thwarted legislative attempts to implement the changes also expect to back down against any policies that affect their final results.

And many divisions that have hindered progress in drug prices over the years remain. While Shaheen and Collins insisted Monday night in a statement that “there is a bipartisan decision … to address rising insulin prices,” some Republicans suggest that the lack of regulation has ultimately helped diabetics.

“Because we do not control the price of insulin, we have had tremendous innovations in this area,” Sen. Pet Tumi (R. Pen.) Was arguing during the Senate financial hearing. “What is surprising is the inability of some of my colleagues to assess the impact that our current actions may have on future 20, 30 or 40 year innovations.

With less than eight months left until the mid-term 2022, those who are watching the issue note that even Republicans who are open to the Warnock and Shaheen-Collins frameworks are shy.

“They are very uncomfortable with this issue,” said Elena Tompkins, a lobbyist and former George W. Bush Labor Department staffer who focuses on health issues. “There is a lot of support for this issue, but there are Republicans who do not want the Democrats to see many victories at this point.”

Some Democrats and progressive advocacy groups are also hesitant.

Patients for affordable drugs, who testified at hearings and were a key part of the Democrats’ negotiations over drug prices and other reforms at the Capitol last year, are worried about trying to get a bill focused on the narrow issue. Eat time that can be spent on the party’s wider drug reform package, which originally had an insulin cap as one of its main features.

“We should not take our eyes off the ball,” said group founder David Mitchell. “Like a laser beam, we need to focus on getting a bigger package through Congress. It requires a lot of energy and effort to get the job done, and we should not scatter a bill that is already part of a larger package. ”

But members like Warnock, whose state has one of the highest rates of diabetes, According to the Center for Disease Control and PreventionIt is argued that uncertainty about the fate of more comprehensive Democrat health care reforms and the urgent need for mitigation in the diabetic community will primarily contribute to the passage of a smaller bill.

“Where is the need to reduce the cost of medication more obvious than in the case of insulin?” Warnock said speaking to reporters and lawyers earlier this month.

While the legislation could change during negotiations with Shaheen, Collins and other members in the coming weeks, Warnock’s bill will be out of pocket in October of this year, until voters decide whether to keep him in office.

Advocates also cite data from the Institute for Health Expenditure, which shows the price of insulin Almost doubled From 2012 to 2016. According to the Diabetes Association in the US, in fact, people with diabetes receive $ 1 for every $ 4 spent on health care in the US.

“While we’re working on a bigger fix, let’s make sure we don’t lose more people who are currently taking insulin,” Kilde said. Because diabetes is so prevalent, because every family in America has someone in the family or knows someone with the disease, we feel that this moment has come.

Democrats are resorting to insulin because of the suspension of the Democrats’ health agenda

Source link Democrats are resorting to insulin because of the suspension of the Democrats’ health agenda

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