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ICYMI: Rubio: Democrats Reject Cheap Insulin for the Uninsured
Democrats reject cheap insulin for the uninsured
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
August 12, 2022
…On a sleepy Sunday morning, every single Democrat rejected a Republican amendment to provide insulin at $10 per prescription for anyone who is low-income…, including the uninsured. I voted yes because it was common sense. So did every single Senate Republican….
Later that day, Democrats and their media enablers proclaimed, “GOP senators blocked a $35 insulin price cap.”…Republicans blocked a Democrat counter-amendment, all right, but in doing so they ensured that insulin will become more affordable, not less.
The Democrats’ grand proposal was to cap the price of insulin at $35. That’s…more than 300% what low-income Americans would have paid under the Republican amendment. What’s more, that arbitrary price cap would have only applied to the already insured…. Most importantly, however, the Democrats’ plan would have actually made insulin more expensive in the long term.
Though still too high for many Americans, the price of insulin is falling. The annual net cost per insulin treatment decreased by 20% between 2007 and 2021. In Florida, some Medicare enrollees pay as little as $24 for a monthlong supply of the drug….
This is happening because of economic competition…. Competition will continue to lower the price of insulin as time goes on—unless, that is, the federal government implements heavy-handed interventions like price controls.
If Congress mandated $35 insulin, do we really think pharmaceutical companies would keep competing for the lowest price? More likely they would play it safe and congregate around $35….
The Democrats’ price controls would also have stifled innovation in insulin production. In 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the development of generic insulin drugs. Over time, that will bring down the cost of insulin even further. But companies would invest less in the research and development of new drugs under price controls, because there would be less incentive to innovate….
In contrast, the Republican plan would have preserved market competition while ensuring people with the greatest need get the treatment they require….
If the Democrats have a serious proposal to lower drug prices, Republicans like me will come to the table. But we will not indulge in political gamesmanship or impose medicines that are worse than the disease on the American people.