The House passed an insulin bill due to resistance from insurers

Despite concerns about bill policy And strategy from both sides, almost every Democrat in the House He was voted in by ten Republicans on Thursday. However he is weak in the face Chances are in the Senate, where Democratic leaders are combining a out-of-pocket ban on insulin – led by a vulnerable senator. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) – Still in force with bipartisan bill Sens. Jana Shahin (DNA) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) to reduce the cost of the drug.

The insurance industry has tried to persuade lawmakers to oppose the measures, arguing that it does not reduce the real price of insulin and could lead to higher premiums.

A source close to the insurance industry close to the talks told POLITICO that they had emphasized that the bill was “disrupting the pharmacy” and called it a “gift” to the pharmaceutical industry.

“The impact on the premium will be significant, And this is not the way to solve the high price of insulin, “said the lobbyist, who was given anonymity and spoke candidly about the process. “But all these Democrats want this victory.”

American Health Insurance Plans, the Insurers Trade Association wants Congress to use its power to price the pharmaceutical industry, instead of It just protects patients from it. While the Shaheen-Collins bill is intended to do so in the Senate, its Details have not been published yet.

“Insulin prices are very high because Big Pharma alone sets and controls the price,” AHIP spokesman David Allen told POLITICO. “This legislation continues to empower Big Pharma to increase insulin prices with impunity, leaving patients, businesses and hard-working taxpayers paying even more for health care.”

Brian Newell, spokesman for PhRMA, a leading lobbying group for drug manufacturers, told POLITICO that, Although they do not formally take a position on the bill, they believe it is “one way to help patients at the pharmacy counter”, but believe that a more “holistic solution” is also needed, which is also implementing a reform of the drug discount system.

“None of the spins in the insurance industry change the fact that they determine what patients pay at the pharmacy,” he added. “It is outrageous that insurance companies are forcing patients to pay more for medicines than insurance companies do.”

More than half a dozen pharmaceutical lobbyists have told POLITICO that the industry is not lobbying for the bill, and say the insurance industry is doing more against the bill than drug manufacturers. Do to support him.

While some Democrats do not consider the insurance industry’s claims about the bill to be credible, given their financial share in the issue, others say they understand the concern, though they eventually voted for the size.

“We do not impose this burden on Big Pharma and I do not blame it [the insurers] “Because we are nervous about it,” he said. Susan Wilde (D-Pa.) Told POLITICO, adding that he had “talked at length” with insurance companies and agreed that the “big drawback” of the bill was how it changed those who paid for insulin but did not reduce its cost.

Still, he replied: “Does it matter if we help people who are actually dying or who are taking insulin? “I care more about patients and people in this position.”

Republicans on Wednesday largely oppose insulin bill Hearing of the House Rules Committee. Some members of the GOP have compared the price President Jimmy Carter’s limit on the price of gasoline and argued that it would lead to a similar deficit and long Lines for the drug. Other Republicans said The policy will encourage American pharmaceutical companies Exile to China.

Rep. Michael Berges (R-Texas) has been criticized by Democrats for using the Trump administration’s repeal of a drug discount rule – which has never been implemented – as a funding mechanism.

“This is a fictitious dollar. “This is not a real dollar,” he said, calling it a “budget trick.”

Other GOP members pointed to a panel a Analysis of the Congressional Budget Office Published on Wednesday, which seems to confirm the insurers’ arguments. The CBO predicts that the measure will cost the federal government more than $ 6 billion over a decade as it is likely to force insurers to increase premiums. This will increase government subsidies paid under the Affordable Care Act and reduce income tax revenue as workers would do it. Spend more wages on employers’ health plans.

Eli Lilly, one of the country’s leading insulin manufacturers, “has long advocated decisions to curb insulin spending,” said Sean O’Neill, vice president of their global government affairs division. But the company notes that it did not support the bill.

While the bill passed easily in the House on Thursday, it will be much tougher in the Senate, where it needs the support of at least 10 Republicans and all 50 Democrats. Although Warnock told POLITICO on Wednesday that he understood “a bipartisan interest in limiting the cost of insulin,” Republicans other than Collins did not sign the bid, and some lobbyists said they did not think he would gain enough Republican support. To achieve. -Sound barrier in the upper chamber.

Still, Democrats believe those who oppose it will pay a political price in November.

“If my Republican colleagues do not support it, I hope my voters at home will see it,” Craig said. “You can support a big reconciliation bill that you were opposed to this or that individual provision, but when it is an independent bill, there is nowhere to hide it.”

The House passed an insulin bill due to resistance from insurers

Source link The House passed an insulin bill due to resistance from insurers

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