Biden’s Insulin Illusion – AMAC
By Ian Gargan
Donald Trump’s July 2020 executive order improving access to lifesaving drugs like insulin was expected to be a huge win for America’s seniors in forging partnerships with pharmaceutical manufacturers. The intent of this order was to make lifesaving drugs affordable and would have reduced the cost of insulin at federally licensed health centers. The solution was market-based and allowed insulin manufacturers and Medicare Part D sponsors to compete by providing the lowest cost products. Business 101 taught us that competition is great for the consumer. In this case, the American people. Direct savings were approximately 66% of initial costs. The savings would also be passed on to those without health insurance. Another victory.
Fast forward to when eighty-one million Americans voted Joe Biden into office, and he froze those vital savings for seniors. Yes, a gel. Because, as fact-checkers vehemently pointed out, “Joe Biden didn’t cancel Trump’s insulin order, he just froze it.” Translated, this means he allows him to hang in the balance only to be quietly dropped so he can introduce his own plan to cap insulin costs. Unfortunately, this is just another illusion. Instead of dipping into the pockets of pharmaceutical manufacturers to make them competitive, he prefers to place the burden on all other American policyholders.
HR 6833, the Affordable Insulin Now Act, just passed the House despite 193 Republicans opposing the bill. In a video featured on the Democratic Party’s new Tik Tok page, Dems called out Republican dissidents, demonizing them for not supporting lower drug prices. But their reason for opposing the bill was idiocy in the way prices were capped, not a hatred of diabetics. However, from January 1st, 2023, insurers will not charge more than $35 for certain insulin products. At first glance, it looks like Biden putting America first. But this is nothing more than another media stunt. This bill does not reduce the cost of insulin. It simply forces insurance companies to cap the copayment at $35. And insurance companies will have to absorb that cost. To recoup the loss, they will inevitably increase the premiums for all plans. And the uninsured will always be left behind. Contrast that with the Insulin Reduction Act of 2019, which aimed to cut costs at source, not pass them on to insurance companies.
And let’s not forget the Pharmaceutical Benefit Managers (PBM). They are the root of this problem. Combined with a lack of industry restrictions and incentives that push them towards the most expensive drugs, PBMs negotiate and receive huge discounts. But instead of passing the savings on to the consumer, the rebates are pocketed.
During Biden’s State of Delusion speech earlier this year, he mentioned how he would heroically save kids like poor little Joshua from the rising cost of insulin. The truth is that he is the villain who gave her these problems. No, he didn’t give Joshua diabetes, but his actions will see him pay much higher prices from 2021 to 2023. Trump had the solution and put it in place. This solution was sadly abandoned. Smoke and mirrors still don’t fool us. Biden’s agenda remains “Americans last.”
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