Democrats from Virginia Congressional Delegation Praise Passage of Insulin Price Cap Bill, but Rep. Rob Wittman Says It Would Expand Federal Control of Private Insurance

Insulin Level Test Conducted by an EMT

The House of Representatives passed HR 6833, a bill to cap a month’s supply of certain insulin products at $35 or 25 percent of the plan’s negotiated price. Only 12 Republicans voted for the bill and Virginia’s delegation split along party lines. Several Virginia Democrats touted the bill’s passage in press releases, but in a Friday email update, Representative Rob Wittman (R-Virginia-01) said the bill was a major expansion of federal control over private health insurance.

“Today, we are talking about the Affordable Insulin Now Act, a bill that would make changes in the lives, in Virginia, of the more than 630,000 Virginians who are living with diabetes,” Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-Virginia-07) said in a speech, highlighted in a press release. “The Affordable Insulin Now Act would finally make sure that every affected child, teenager, family member, every American can afford the insulin that they need. People living with diabetes do not have the choice of whether to purchase insulin or not — they depend on it to stay alive.”

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Bill Proposes Minnesota Join 19 States with Co-Pay Caps for Insulin

Two Minnesota DFL legislators announced a bill to cap state-regulated health plans’ co-pays for certain prescription drugs at $25 per month.

The bill Rep. Michael Howard, DFL-Richfield, and Sen. Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, if passed, HF 3592, would apply the caps to drugs and medical supplies that treat severe allergic reactions and chronic conditions, such as diabetes and asthma. The bill would become effective in 2023.

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Gov. Whitmer Signs Emergency Insulin, Education Bills into Law

Gretchen Whitmer

Gov. Whitmer signed a flurry of bills Thursday with topics ranging from affordable insulin to changing college scholarship metrics.

“I am committed to bringing Republicans and Democrats together to make real, lasting change for Michigan families,” Whitmer said in a statement. “For people living with diabetes, access to insulin is a matter of life and death. I’m proud to sign Senate Bills 155 and 156 because they ensure access to an emergency insulin supply for people facing an interruption of care, and require insurance to cover that emergency supply. I’m also proud to sign House Bills 4055 and 4056 – students should be able to afford a college education based on their overall scholastic achievement, especially when facing unprecedented obstacles to taking otherwise required tests like the ACT and SAT. ”

Senate Bill (SB) 155 aims to ensure access to emergency insulin supply at an affordable cost by allowing pharmacists to dispense an emergency supply of insulin to individuals with an expired but otherwise valid prescription issued within the last 12 months.

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Overview of Virginia’s Newest Laws in 2021

The new year is here at last and for Virginians throughout the Commonwealth, the arrival of 2021 means a number of laws passed by the General Assembly last year have now gone into effect and bring several important changes. 

Here is an overview of some new laws that Virginians should know about. 

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$50 Insulin Co-Pay Cap Goes into Effect in Virginia in 2021

Monthly co-pays for insulin will be capped at $50 on January 1 in Virginia, thanks to HB 66, which the General Assembly passed in Spring of 2020. Politicians from both parties have called for strategies to make insulin more affordable. Delegate Lee Carter (D-Manassas) introduced the bill, initially calling for an even lower co-pay cap of $30 that was later amended to $50.

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Pharma Trade Group Sues State Over Affordable Insulin Law Hours Before it Became Law

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) filed a lawsuit late Tuesday seeking to strike down affordable insulin legislation the day before the law took effect.

The Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act was named after a 26-year-old who died in 2017 while rationing his insulin medicine because he couldn’t afford the $1,300 refill after aging out of his parent’s insurance coverage.

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Ilhan Omar’s State of the Union Guest Says Trump Should be ‘Ashamed of Himself’

Every member of Congress gets one guest ticket for the annual State of the Union address, and it’s often used to score quick political points. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05), for instance, invited Linda Clark, an immigrant from Liberia who is at risk of deportation because of President Donald Trump’s decision…

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