Biden to push for universal insulin price cap in State of the Union
President Joe Biden will call for expanding a new cap on insulin prices to all Americans as part of his State of the Union address, the White House said Monday.
During the Tuesday speech, Biden plans to tout his administration’s efforts to make health care more affordable, which included imposing a $35-per-month limit on insulin that took effect in January.
But that price cap, which was passed as part of last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, only applied to those beneficiaries covered by Medicare. Biden is now expected to renew his push for the policy to be applied to anyone with an insulin prescription, the White House said in a fact sheet.
“The President will call on Congress to extend this commonsense, life-saving protection to all Americans,” the fact sheet said.
Democrats had originally planned to pass a universal insulin price cap last year as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, which was passed along party lines last August. But the policy was scaled back after Republicans successfully challenged its inclusion. Democrats since then have vowed to continue to push for its passage, arguing that it’s broadly popular and crucial to ensuring that people can afford essential medicines.
Still, Biden’s fresh support for expanding the price cap is unlikely to result in much concrete progress. Republicans remain opposed to the measure, and are unlikely to even allow a vote on it in the House now that they control the chamber.
Biden during his State of the Union speech is also expected to highlight a handful of other health care accomplishments, including landmark legislation granting Medicare the right to negotiate drug prices and cap certain out-of-pocket pharmacy costs. He will celebrate the three latest states to expand their Medicaid programs, while urging Congress to pass legislation that would close coverage gaps in the 11 holdout states that have yet to expand Medicaid.
The president also plans to call for continuing to lower health insurance costs, pointing to expanded Obamacare subsidies that the administration estimates lowered customers’ premiums by an average of $800 per year and pushed the nation’s uninsured rate to an all-time low.
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