Aug 8, 2022 - Politics

Senators Romney and Lee helped kill a national price cap on insulin

Illustration of a syringe pulling from a vial with a hundred dollar bill as a label.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sens. Mitt Romney and Mike Lee were among 43 Republicans who helped block a $35 monthly cap on insulin costs for people covered by private insurance.

  • The Sunday morning vote was just three votes shy of passing the 60-vote threshold.

The latest: The senate parliamentarian ruled that the insulin cap couldn't be part of a pending inflation-reduction bill that requires only a majority vote to pass.

  • Sunday's vote was to overrule the parliamentarian's decision and leave the insulin cap in the bill.

Of note: Lee's vote against the insulin cap came one day after he quoted a constituent on Twitter as saying, "It's either food or my medication and I have to do without one or the other at this point," in a thread blaming Biden for inflation.

Context: Utah, like several other states, already has a $30 monthly cap on insulin for some patients with private insurance.

  • But state caps don't apply to patients on self-funded plans — about 40% of Utahns. Only federal law can regulate those plans.

What's next: Democrats are hoping to keep a ceiling on insulin costs for Medicare patients in the pending deficit reduction package, which includes climate, tax and healthcare measures.

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