Democrats in Congress Are Fighting to Finish the Job of the Inflation Reduction Act and Ensure No One Pays More Than $35 A Month Per Insulin Prescription
Washington DC — Over the next two weeks, Protect Our Care will be spotlighting the Inflation Reduction Act’s lifesaving provision to cap insulin copays at $35 per month for millions of seniors. Through nationwide events, op-eds, and social media, Protect Our Care will highlight real stories of people saving hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on their insulin costs. The Inflation Reduction Act’s insulin cap took effect in January, benefiting more than three million seniors.
Last year, Republicans in Congress blocked a provision that would have extended the cap to people with private insurance — putting Big Pharma’s profits over real people. Now, President Biden and Democrats in Congress are fighting to extend these savings to everyone. This would help an estimated 21 million patients afford this vital medication.
Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:
“For far too long, Big Pharma has been pulling the strings while diabetics have been forced to ration or skip doses because of the outrageous price of insulin. The Inflation Reduction Act is a monumental step forward to rein in drug company greed, and the insulin cap in particular will save lives. Now, we must build on this progress and extend the insulin cap to everyone who needs it. Republicans’ stance on this issue has already put lives in jeopardy, but we will not quit until everyone can afford the drugs they need to stay alive.”
FACT SHEET: Millions of Seniors Are Saving Big Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act’s $35 Insulin Cap
Insulin copays have been capped at $35 a month for everyone on Medicare since January 1, 2023. President Biden and Democrats in Congress have been fighting tirelessly to put money back in the pockets of American seniors, and now their work is paying off. The $35 cap will change the lives of the millions of insulin users on Medicare who will no longer have to decide between affording the medication they need to survive or putting food on the table. Taking insulin as prescribed reduces the likelihood of costly complications such as vision loss, heart disease, and kidney disease.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 3.2 million seniors on Medicare will save money thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act’s $35 insulin cap.
- 1.5 million people on Medicare would have saved an average $500 in 2020 if the $35 insulin cap were in effect.
- Republicans in Congress blocked a universal insulin cap to help millions more Americans.
The Inflation Reduction Act Is A Game-Changer For Seniors. In 2020, there were more than 3.2 million insulin users relying on Medicare, with nearly 1.7 million purchasing their insulin without low-income subsidies. On average, seniors with Medicare Part D or B who are not receiving subsidies pay an average of $572 every year for this life saving medication — an unthinkable sum for many on fixed incomes. Patients who suffer chronic complications can expect to pay upwards of an additional $650 per year. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, insulin copays for people on Medicare will be capped at $35 each month starting on January 1st. A recent study showed that 1.5 million people on Medicare would have saved an average $500 in 2020 from the $35 insulin cap.
Affordable Insulin Saves Lives. As a result of outrageous costs, many seniors are forced to stop taking their medication or cut doses in half. Diabetics suffer severe effects, such as numbness in their feet and nerve damage in the eyes, when they stop taking doses as prescribed. The insulin cap provision in the Inflation Reduction Act will vastly improve the lives of millions of vulnerable insulin users, and it will save lives.
Affordable Insulin Directly Helps Seniors Of Color. People of color are disproportionately affected by diabetes when compared to their white counterparts with over 12 percent of Black adults and 11.8 percent of Hispanics being diagnosed with the disease. Black Americans also continue to be the hardest hit when it comes to affording their prescription drugs and paying medical bills.
Rural Americans Disproportionately Struggle To Afford Their Insulin. According to a 2018 study, rural Americans are 17 percent more likely to suffer from diabetes than urban Americans. Diabetes risk factors are higher in rural areas than their urban and suburban counterparts as they have lower access to health care providers, fewer transportation options to receive care, and higher rates of being uninsured.
Republicans Blocked Insulin Cap For Diabetics Not On Medicare. In early August, as the final negotiations were being made on the Inflation Reduction Act, Republicans in the Senate, unified together to make sure that the $35 insulin cap was not universal. In a country where 80 percent of diabetics have had to go into debt in order to pay for insulin, this type of action by Republicans reeks of the influence of Big Pharma.