Campaign season, competing legislation and the unknown of the lame duck session could prevent the Senate from acting on a bill to limit direct insulin costs, despite the efforts of lawmakers behind the bill. to carry it forward.
“I am pleased that the Senate Democrats have made important progress in addressing the skyrocketing costs of insulin in the inflation reduction bill, but those provisions are just the beginning. To get the full extent of these rising costs , we need a global solution, “said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, DNH, the main sponsor of the bill, said in a statement Friday. “We have seen bipartisan support for the initial insulin provisions in the IRA and I believe we can build on that progress in the coming weeks.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., promised in an MSNBC appearance last month that the Senate will vote on price limits for insulin on private plans.
But the path seems increasingly difficult with a busy Senate program. And Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, the GOP’s main sponsor of the legislation, says she blames Schumer for making the bill harder to pass by dissociating price limits for Medicare beneficiaries from similar limits on private plans.
“I think our path is more difficult due to Senator Schumer’s decision, contrary to what he told me, to stop parts of the bill and put it into reconciliation,” Collins told reporters Thursday.
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“Jeanne and I still believe our bill has great merit and would rectify the problem that reconciliation does not apply to the commercial market, nor does it address the underlying problem of discounts and high list prices,” Collins also said. . “The $ 35 limit for Medicare doesn’t really address the inherent conflicts of interest in how insulin gets to consumers.”
Time may be the most important factor in getting Collins and Shaheen to vote on their bill.
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The Senate is ready to vote on more judicial confirmations early next week. After that, a bill to protect federal gay marriage rights is likely to be called into question as early as next week, even as Senator Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Said he expects it to pass “week. next one. ”
If the gay marriage bill passes, which its supporters are optimistic about, the next item on the Senate agenda will be a funding bill to avert the government shutdown. It could be a time-consuming struggle with progressives and Republicans alike angered by Schumer’s deal with Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., to include permit reform for energy projects in exchange for his vote on the law on the reduction of inflation.
The Democrats are looking for an easy win before the midterm, they’ll shoot it however they want and ignore the true cost to insulin-addicted Americans. Republicans shouldn’t be part of a socialist pricing scheme.
Once that bill has reached the finish line, it’s possible that Schumer will send everyone home for the campaign rather than keep the Senate in session until October.
That could push any conversation about insulin prices to the November and December lame duck session, when Congress priorities could be radically different. However, a senior Democrat aide said the insulin bill is something they want to do and that they are “discussing the best path forward”.
If the Senate comes to the Shaheen-Collins legislation, supporters are optimistic that it can pass. Seven Republicans voted to ignore the Senate’s “Byrd Rule” and allow a trade cap on the price of insulin during the “rama vote” on Democrats’ social spending and tax bill.
In an interview with the Portland Press-Herald last month, Collins indicated that as evidence he can secure even more votes outside the context of a huge party line bill.
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Opponents of GOP legislation, meanwhile, wonder why Republicans would be willing to support what they say is little more than big government interference in the market.
“It’s not political, it’s a fact: the only way to truly lower prices without damaging quality is to increase competition in the free market. Any pricing effort will only push those costs from the product to your premiums.” , Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., One of the most vocal opponents of the legislation in the House, told Fox News Digital. “Democrats are looking for an easy win before the medium term, they will turn it however they want and ignore the true cost to insulin-dependent Americans. Republicans shouldn’t be part of a socialist pricing scheme.”