Sen. Chuck Grassley told a crowd of his constituents that he is “for $35 caps” on insulin prices, just a week and a half after he voted against them twice.
His comments came at his town hall in Cordyon on Wednesday, to a crowd of about 40 people in Wayne County.
“The price of it has gone through the roof the past five, six years,” a man said to Grassley. “You’ve still got millions of people, and probably hundreds of thousands of Iowans, who are struggling to pay their insulin. Why can’t we do something about that?”
Grassley replied that he was in favor of $35 caps on insulin prices, even though he helped block one of those caps from being included in Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act, and then he voted against the larger bill. With President Joe Biden’s signing of the bill, Americans on Medicare will have a $35 insulin cap in the coming years.
While all Republicans in Congress voted against that overarching bill, seven of Grassley’s colleagues joined Democrats in supporting an amendment that would have expanded the cap to people with private insurance. Because of how the Senate’s procedural rules work, Grassley’s vote against the amendment was important—it came up just three votes short of passing.
“If you just cap it, and don’t do something with what we call the Pharmacy Benefit Management … all they’re going to do is shift the price somewhere else,” Grassley said in defense of his vote. “The PBMs are the middle-people between the pharmaceutical companies and you as a consumer. It’s a very opaque business.”
Grassley noted he backed a Republican amendment that would have covered just a fraction of people on private insurance and also covered Americans without any insurance.
“[The Democratic amendment] would’ve just capped it for the people that are on commercial health insurance, it wouldn’t have done anything for the uninsured,” Grassley said.
“It would have done something,” the attendee replied.
Grassley also mentioned some of the other bipartisan work on drug prices he’s done, but it was the Democratic effort that finally got an insulin cap for at least some Americans.
“Two weeks ago, Senator Grassley denied 240,000 Iowans the $35 cap on insulin. Today he says he supports it. Iowans know you’ve been in D.C. too long when you can stand up in front of us with a straight face and claim, ‘I’m for the $35 cap’ just weeks after voting against it in Washington,” former admiral Mike Franken, Grassley’s Democratic opponent in the Senate race, said in a statement.
by Pat Rynard
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1 Comment on "“I’m For $35 [Insulin] Caps” Grassley Tells Iowans After Voting Against Them"
…and in other news, the sun is bright.
Of COURSE he’s going to take credit for it, syaing how he’s all in on it – after voting against either part of the cap. It seems to be what Republicans (to be fair, it’s not just the Republicans in Iowa) do – oppose, oppose, oppose. And then, when legislation passes anyway and people begin to see it doing good, take credit for it. And do it with a straight face.