Nov 14 2023
WASHINGTON – Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) issued a bipartisan report titled, “Insulin Deserts: The Urgency of Lowering the Cost of Insulin for Everyone” that highlights insulin disparities across the U.S. The senators’ report confirms the need to make prices for the life-saving medicine more affordable for Americans who suffer from diabetes.
In March, Kennedy and Warnock introduced the Affordable Insulin Now Act of 2023 to cap the price of insulin for all patients, including those who are uninsured, at $35 for a 30-day supply.
“The cost of insulin is rising for too many Louisianians who rely on it just to survive. I’m grateful to work with Sen. Warnock to issue this bipartisan report, which details the need for Congress to pass our Affordable Insulin Now Act. By capping prices at $35 for every patient, we can help lower future health care costs associated with complications that arise from untreated diabetes,” said Kennedy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that Americans spend $327 billion annually to cover health care expenses and lost wages related to diabetic care. Louisiana alone spends an estimated $5.7 billion on care related to diabetes each year.
“This alarming report makes clear who will be left behind if Congress fails to pass my $35 insulin cost cap, including uninsured Georgians who live in the 105 counties considered insulin deserts. There’s good news though: my bipartisan legislation with Senator Kennedy would ensure that uninsured folks, especially folks in insulin deserts, are able to afford their insulin by capping their cost at $35 a month,” said Warnock.
Kennedy and Warnock’s report finds that there are 813 counties in America that are “insulin deserts,” places where 16% or more of the population is uninsured and 10% or more of the population has diabetes.
The Affordable Insulin Now Act of 2023 would:
- Require private group or individual plans to cover one of each insulin dosage form (i.e. vial, pen) and insulin type (i.e. rapid-acting, short-acting, intermediate-acting or long-acting) for no more than $35 per month.
- Require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a program to reimburse qualifying entities for covering any costs that exceed $35 for providing a 30-day supply of insulin to uninsured patients.
- Be fully paid for by an offset, so it will not add to the deficit.
In addition to the Affordable Insulin Now Act, Kennedy last year introduced an amendment to President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act to cap insulin costs. In 2021, Kennedy introduced the Seniors Saving on Insulin Act, the Vital Medication Affordability Act and the Ending Pricey Insulin Act to address skyrocketing insulin and epinephrine prices.
Kennedy also penned an op-ed in the Washington Examiner to highlight how capping the price of insulin would save Americans money overall and an op-ed in the Ouachita Citizen that details legislative solutions to lower the costs of insulin for Louisiana families.
Read the full report here.