Senate Republicans reject Democrats' insulin cap

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Senate Republicans reject Democrats' insulin cap

A cap on insulin price in the private market was voted down by Republican senators on Sunday, removing it from Democrats' climate and economic package.

The Democrats had tried to preserve the provision to cap insulin costs at $35 for private insurers, but that vote failed 57 -- 43, with seven Republicans voting with them to keep the insulin cost cap in the bill, three short of what was needed.

The Democrats need to comply with the rules to pass the legislation, called the Inflation Reduction Act, without any Republican votes.

The legislation still includes a $35 copay cap on the price of insulin for people 65 and older on Medicare.

After the vote, Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore. accused Republicans of caving to pressures from the pharmaceutical industry at the cost of citizens.

Wyden said that Republicans have gone on the record in favor of expensive insulin. After years of hard talk about taking on insulin makers, Republicans have wilted in the face of the heat from Big Pharma. The bill has a $35 insulin copay cap for insulin in Medicare, so seniors will get relief from high insulin costs. He said that I will continue to work to deliver lower insulin costs to all Americans.

Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, and Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan of Alaska joined Democrats in voting to keep the insulin cap for private insurers on Sunday.

After the Senate passed the bill Saturday in a 51 -- 50 procedural vote, senators have been working on amendment votes, with all Republicans opposing the motion to proceed with the bill and Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.

Senate Democrats are aiming to pass the legislation on Sunday, bringing long-stalked elements of President Joe Biden's agenda, including major spending to combat climate change and extend health care coverage, one step closer to reality. The package will go to the House, which is planning to vote on it on Friday.