If you’ve turned on the news lately or surfed the web, it’s likely you’ve seen a lot of talk about the $35 insulin price cap. This bill recently passed a vote in the house and is headed to the senate before it will be ready to be signed and become law.
This price cap is not actually a cap on the price of insulin. It’s a cap on the copay for insulin. This is a very important distinction for three key factors.
First, the retail locations will be taking the same amount that they always have, meaning everyone will be making just as much profit on this drug that’s usually priced more than 30 times the cost to manufacture it.
Second, this puts more cost on the balance sheet of the insurance companies. While most of us could care less what they have to pay out, it’s inevitable that they will make up for it by raising their premiums.
Finally, people without insurance will still be paying the same high price as they always have been.
Of course, we’ve proven there is a better way. Simply lifting import bans and allowing us to purchase from the dozens of worldwide manufacturers, removing price controls, and removing restrictions on purchasing online from nearby foreign countries like Canada and Mexico. This would allow most Americans to get their insulin at an 88% discount, down to a price where most could afford it without any insurance at all. If they do have insurance, relieving the burden of paying high insulin prices would allow insurance companies to lower their prices to attract other customers.
Until that happens, we are organizing an effort for travelers to Mexico and Canada to help their fellow Americans by purchasing the low cost medication and getting it into the hands of someone who needs it.
But let’s get back to the misrepresentation of You’ll be hard pressed to find a news article that mentions the name or number of the bill, which would make it easier to find the bill itself. Since most news outlets aren’t reporting on it, here you have it to read for yourself. It’s hard to blame them, knowing that most of their readers, even if they clicked, would have a hard time deciphering the legalese in this bill. But never the less, here it is. HB 6833, the “Affordable Insulin Now Act”.
Now that we know what the bill really is, how is the media representing it? Let’s look at some of the popular outlets and what they are saying about this bill.
|Fox 9 Minneapolis||force group health insurance plans to cap the price of insulin at $35||Yes|
|CNN||cap what Americans pay for insulin at $35 a month||No|
|Fox News||limit the cost of insulin to $35 per month for most Americans||No|
|Fox Business||capping insulin at $35 a month for patients with insurance||No|
|Reuters||bill setting strict cap on insulin costs||No|
|LA Times||cap insulin costs as $35 a month for consumers enrolled in private health insurance plans or Medicare.||No|
|NY Times||Limit Cost of Insulin to $35 a Month||No|
Kudos to the news outlets that print the truth. Unfortunately, as you can see, many of these outlets are leaving out the fact that this is only for insurance, and not naming or linking to the bill to make it easy to find. If we want transparency in healthcare, we’re going to have to start by demanding transparency in the news about change proposals. While this may seem petty, this under reporting has led to far too many people thinking that this will solve the insulin problem, when all it really does it hide it.