U.S. House set to vote on insulin price cap championed by Warnock, McBath

WASHINGTON — A measure intended to bring down the cost of insulin for people with diabetes is headed to the U.S. House floor for a vote Thursday.

U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Marietta, is one of the primary sponsors of the House legislation, and Georgia Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock helped reignite the conversation after President Joe Biden’s social spending and climate change legislation, known as Build Back Better, faltered.

The insulin cost controls were in that package that stalled due to opposition from Senate Republicans and two moderate Democrats. Warnock is among several lawmakers who introduced stand-alone legislation to cap insulin at $35 a month for most patients.

McBath followed his lead, joining with fellow Democratic U.S. Reps. Dan Kildee of Michigan and Angie Craig of Minnesota. Their bill would require private health insurance companies to set prices for a month’s supply of insulin at no more than $35 or 25% of a plan’s negotiated price, whichever is less, starting in 2023 for some patients and 2024 for all.

McBath said it is long overdue to control the skyrocketing costs of a medicine that so many people rely on.

“We have over a million Georgians that are living with diabetes,” McBath said. “I’ve talked to constituents that are really in dire straits trying to be able to pay for these lifesaving drugs, and this legislation really just lowers costs for these families and for their loved one.”

Once the House votes, the ball will be in the Senate’s court.

Warnock said he has had conversations recently with New Hampshire U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, and Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, in hopes of ironing out a Senate version that can get the bipartisan support needed to overcome a filibuster. Warnock said they have assured him that the $35 cap will be part of their proposal.

“Republican states like Utah, Oklahoma, Texas and Alabama have put similar caps on insulin at the state level, so there should be overwhelming bipartisan support to pass my legislation,” Warnock said Wednesday in a statement. “I’ll keep using every option at my disposal to lower the cost of this lifesaving medication for Georgians.”

Biden championed the insulin price caps during his State of the Union address, and the White House put out a position statement Wednesday saying it supports the McBath bill.

ExploreInsulin costs have sky-rocketed; Warnock-sponsored bill would cap co-pays