WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn today released the latest edition of his podcast Clyburn Chronicles with guest Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock, Georgia’s first Black senator and the first Black Democrat to represent a southern state in the Senate.
Congressman Clyburn and Senator Warnock sat down to discuss the relevance of HBCUs and their need for additional funding, closing the Medicaid coverage gap, and the Affordable Insulin Now Act.
The Affordable Insulin Now Act was introduced by Senator Warnock in the Senate in February and passed the House March 31, 2022. This legislation requires Medicare Part D and commercial health insurance to cover insulin with out-of-pocket costs capped at no more than $35 per month or 25 percent of a plan’s negotiated price.
Congressman Clyburn shared his experience with diabetes with the Senator:
“My late wife fought diabetes for 25 years. It took her life. And I saw her insulin bill on several occasions — it ran anywhere from $1,200 to $1,600 a month. She was a four-shot-a-day diabetic at one time,” said Congressman Clyburn. “Insulin has been around for more than 100 years and there’s no reason [for the excessive cost]; we’ve done the research, and you’ve done great work. We know that the people who make insulin can make money if it’s only $35 a month. That’s what we’re trying to cap.”
Senator Warnock discussed how impactful this legislation will be in the management, treatment and the affordability of costs associated with diabetes. “One in 4 dollars in our health care system is spent on people with diabetes,” Senator Reverend Warnock told Congressman Clyburn. “And so, we want people to manage their diabetes. Not only do we help them, I think we can go a long way with controlling costs in our larger health care system when you think about amputations, when you think about cardiovascular disease, kidney failure – a whole range of issues connected very often to the management of diabetes. This is the smart thing to do, it’s the right thing to do, and I hope we can get it done this work period.”
According to the American Diabetes Association, 1 in 4 Americans who rely on insulin have cut back or skipped doses due to costs. This legislation, which is paid for, ensures affordable access to life-saving medication.
To hear the conversation, please click here.