(TheRedWire.com) – In 2021, Democrats attempted to use their $3.5 trillion Build Back Better proposal to lower prescription drug costs. The plan would have used Medicare to force drug companies to lower their prices. In September, moderate House Democrats killed the bill in committee over the excessive cost of the proposal. Now, Democrats are focusing on a narrower measure to cap the cost of insulin prices for people with diabetes.
On Tuesday, March 22, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he supported a bipartisan proposal that would cap the monthly cost of insulin at $35. The Majority Leader said he expects a vote on the legislation in late April. Still, Schumer needs to overcome numerous hurdles in an evenly divided Senate between Democrats and Republicans. For any bill to pass in the Senate, 10 members of the GOP will need to vote with a unanimous Democratic approval.
Senate Majority Leader Schumer said he will hold a vote on legislation that would cap patient insulin costs at $35/month, paired w/ a plan in the works that aims to cut prices "in a more comprehensive way, including having the uninsured protected." https://t.co/tdWqAQPoN0
— PharmacyChecker (@pharmacychecker) March 23, 2022
Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) are leading the negotiations. Schumer said they could combine their proposal with a previous measure proposed by Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA). Republicans argue Warnock’s plan was too partisan and lacked the necessary GOP votes to pass the Senate.
Regardless, the details of the Collins-Shaheen proposal are unknown. Schumer has habitually promised legislation will get a vote on the Senate floor before it becomes viable, contributing to its ultimate failure.
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