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Jayapal and Bush Lead Nearly 100 House Democrats in Calling on Senate to Quickly Make Insulin Affordable for All Americans

Lawmakers urge the Senate to retain the House’s life saving insulin affordability provisions that cap out-of-pocket costs at $35 a month, speed up implementation of this popular measure, and expand it to cover uninsured individuals.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Cori Bush (MO-01) led nearly 100 House lawmakers today in urging the Senate to quickly make insulin affordable for all Americans as part of the Build Back Better Act. Today’s letter — written to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer — specifically calls on the Senate to retain the House’s life saving provision that caps out-of-pocket costs for insulin at $35 a month, implement this popular measure in 2022 to provide immediate relief for those struggling with high insulin costs, and expand the policy to apply to uninsured individuals across the country. 

“We strongly urge you to retain the insulin affordability provisions in the House-passed Build Back Better Act, implement these provisions sooner, and expand these provisions to apply to the uninsured population. These provisions have the potential to immediately save lives and prevent complications of untreated diabetes for millions of Americans,” wrote the 97 lawmakers. “By retaining and expanding the insulin cost caps, we can pass a bill that truly makes insulin affordable for everyone in the U.S.”

The lawmakers specifically called on the Senate to do the following three things:

  1. Maintain the Build Back Better Act provisions already passed by the House that cap the cost for a patient’s monthly insulin prescription at $35 for all Medicare beneficiaries and privately insured people, making insulin affordable for the 32 million insured Americans with diabetes.
  1. Amend the legislation to speed up its implementation and provide immediate relief for patients struggling with high insulin costs by allowing these life saving changes to take effect in 2022 instead of 2023. 
  1. Extend the $35 monthly insulin payment cap to uninsured people so America finally guarantees that every person with diabetes will only pay $35 for their monthly insulin and that no person ever dies due to insulin rationing again. 

The need for lowering the cost of insulin for the more than 32 million adults with diabetes has never been greater as one in four people with diabetes are currently rationing their insulin in America. This puts them at risk of loss of sight, kidney failure, other medical concerns, and even death. This crisis has only gotten worse as the list price for the most effective insulins has risen over 1,000 percent since 1999.

Today’s letter is signed by U.S. Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Cori Bush (MO-01), Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. (NC-12), Colin Allred (TX-32), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Karen Bass (CA-37), Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (NY-16), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), André Carson (IN-07), Troy Carter (LA-02), Sean Casten (IL-06), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Judy Chu (CA-27), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), Jim Cooper (TN-05), Jim Costa (CA-16), Joe Courtney (CT-02), Angie Craig (MN-02), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Jason Crow (CO-06), Sharice L. Davids (KS-03), Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29), Jesús G. “Chuy” García (IL-04), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Al Green (TX-09), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Josh Harder (CA-10), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Daniel T. Kildee (MI-05), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02), Rick Larsen (WA-02), John B. Larson (CT-01), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Andy Levin (MI-09), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Lucy McBath (GA-06), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Gregory W. Meeks (NY-05), Grace Meng (NY-06), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Joe Neguse (CO-02), Marie Newman (IL-03), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-at large), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Katie Porter (CA-45), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Bobby L. Rush (IL-01), Michael F.Q. San Nicolas (GU-00), Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Terri A. Sewell (AL-07), Adam Smith (WA-09), Darren Soto (FL-09), Tom Suozzi (NY-03), Mark Takano (CA-41), Mike Thompson (CA-05), Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), Lori Trahan (MA-03), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Peter Welch (VT-at large), Susan Wild (PA-07), Nikema Williams (GA-05), Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-at large), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Maxine Waters (CA-43), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), and Teresa Leger Fernández (NM-03).

A copy of the letter is available here