Affordable Insulin Now Act

Floor Speech

Date: March 31, 2022
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 1017, I call up the bill (H.R. 6833) to amend title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to establish requirements with respect to cost-sharing for certain insulin products, and for other purposes, and ask for its immediate consideration in the House.

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

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Mr. PALLONE. 6833.

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Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the Affordable Insulin Now Act, which is critical to protecting more than 7 million American patients who rely on insulin.

Today, one in four Americans who need insulin report either having cut back or skipped doses because the cost is simply too high. That is heartbreaking and unacceptable. No one should have to ration their insulin to help reduce costs, risking their health and, in some tragic cases, actually costing them their lives.

This bill will make insulin more affordable by capping the out-of- pocket cost for consumers in both Medicare and the private insurance market at $35 a month. This will address the vast disparities between what people pay for insulin in other countries as compared to the United States.

Right now, Americans are paying more than 10 times the price for insulin as people in other high-income countries. That is simply not fair.

Right now, one out of every five Americans who depend on insulin have out-of-pocket costs of significantly more than $35 per month. That is unconscionable considering that insulin has been in use for over a century.

I have heard my Republican colleagues contend that prices for insulin are coming down but, in reality, prices are going up for the consumer. The list prices set by the manufacturer, which patient cost-sharing is based off of, keep going up. In fact, reports note that the average retail price for insulin rose 54 percent--more than double--from 2014 to 2019.

Now, Madam Speaker, I continue to strongly support comprehensive efforts to rein in the soaring costs of prescription drugs and empowering Medicare to negotiate fair prices, but we cannot afford to wait any longer to address the price of insulin.

I commend Representatives Craig, Kildee, and McBath for their leadership and hard work in bringing this important legislation to the House floor.

I urge my colleagues, on a bipartisan basis, to support this lifesaving legislation.

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Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer), the majority leader, who, along with the rest of the leadership, continues this effort to address affordability.

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Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from Minnesota (Ms. Craig), the prime sponsor of the bill, who is constantly working to address affordability issues for Americans.

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Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Eshoo), chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health.

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Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from Illinois (Ms. Schakowsky), the chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce.

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Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Schrader), a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

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Mr. PALLONE. Kuster), a member of Energy and Commerce Committee.

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Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I would inquire how much time is remaining on each side.

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Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from Washington (Ms. Schrier), a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

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Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to gentlewoman from Georgia (Ms. Bourdeaux).

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Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to the gentleman of New Jersey (Mr. Payne).

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