On Thursday, Senator Reverend Warnock met virtually with Georgia-based diabetes advocacy organizations, including the Georgia Chapter of the American Diabetes Association and Georgians for a Healthy Future, as well as other advocates and insulin users to discuss his legislation, the Affordable Insulin Now Act
The Senator introduced the Affordable Insulin Now Act(S.3700) on February 17, 2022. The bill has received broad support and is co-sponsored by 30 members of the Senate
Senator Reverend Warnock: “I’ve been working to make health care more affordable most of my career. And since I’ve been in the Senate, I’ve been fighting hard to strengthen access to free and affordable health care coverage, and to lower prescription drug costs. Almost nowhere is that need greater than when it comes to the cost of insulin.”
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**WATCH: Senator Reverend Warnock speaks with diabetes advocates and insulin users on the importance of capping insulin costs**
Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) met virtually with diabetes advocacy organizations, including the Georgia Chapter of the American Diabetes Association and Georgians for a Healthy Future, as well as other advocates and insulin users to discuss his legislation, the Affordable Insulin Now Act. The Senator gave opening remarks, heard directly from advocates and answered questions on his legislation. The Senator highlighted the importance of capping insulin costs for the over one million diabetic Georgians.
“I’ve been working to make health care more affordable most of my career. And since I’ve been in the Senate, I’ve been fighting hard to strengthen access to free and affordable health care coverage, and to lower prescription drug costs,” said Senator Reverend Warnock.“Almost nowhere is that need greater than when it comes to the cost of insulin. If you can’t afford your insulin, then your health care isn’t affordable. Making this life-saving drug affordable isn’t an ideological issue, it’s a practical one—one that has garnered bipartisan support in blue and red states, and on both sides of the aisle here in Washington—so I’m hopeful we can find a bipartisan path forward.”
In February, Senator Warnock introduced the Affordable Insulin Now Act that would cap out-of-pockets costs for insulin to $35 per month. This bill is expected to lower insulin costs for many of the over one million Georgia patients, or more than 12% of the state’s adult population, living with diabetes. This legislation is co-sponsored by 30 members of the Senate and is endorsed by the American Diabetes Association.
View excerpts from the Senator’s conversation with diabetes advocates below:
Patti Edwards, Executive Director of the MedBank Foundation in Savannah, Georgia: [The MedBand Foundation] has been providing free medicine to the uninsured and underinsured since 1992 in six costal Georgia counties. And I’m sure you are probably aware here in Chatham County, 13% of the population is diabetic. But what’s so concerning to me is there are pockets of the population, particularly in some low income minority communities, where it’s as high as 24%. So, my question to you is, why is this legislation so important to you?
Senator Reverend Warnock: Well, thank you so much for the question. That it really emerges from my experience as a pastor walking with people through their many challenges, including their health challenges. I have seen up close the devastating impact of this disease especially when it goes untreated. I’ve seen the amputations, I’ve been there with families trying to encourage a loved one as they get the news that they have to go on dialysis. So, diabetes is a part of a whole network of potential health issues when it goes untreated. If you need insulin, you really need insulin. It’s not a convenience, it’s not optional, and this drug has been around for 100 years. So, the pharmaceutical companies can’t say that they’re spending this money on research and development – not where insulin is concerned. They’re raising the costs because they can and we have an opportunity to bring reason, common sense and a sense of humanity to this. And I’m proud of our ability to do this legislation and I hope we can get this done sooner than later.
Laura Colbert, Executive Director of Georgians for a Healthy Future: Obviously, with any health care legislation or any legislation at all these days, it’s a tough political climate and a tough kind of pathway through to get a bill signed into law. So what are you doing to ensure that this bill gets through Congress successfully and can get to the President’s desk?
Senator Reverend Warnock: I’m talking to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. And we really should have a clear path to get this done. There are several states, blue and red that have done this. Oklahoma has capped the costs of insulin, so has Utah, so has Alabama. So it’s clear that this is not an ideological issue, it’s a health issue. And what I’m trying to do is to get folks on both sides of the aisle in Washington to do what folks on both sides of the aisle are already doing in many of our states. And so we’re going to be working hard and hopefully, we can get this done by Easter and there could be a resurrection of hope for ordinary folks who struggle with this disease.