Getting to the Bottom of Our Drug Pricing Crisis
I just finished meeting with a group of Denver area residents who are struggling to afford the skyrocketing cost of their insulin. This is a life-saving medication that more than seven million Americans rely on to maintain their blood sugar. As one of our neighbors put it, “Insulin is taking all of my money. It’s just Insulin and rent. That’s it.” Another woman told me how she had to quit one of her jobs so she could get back on Medicaid to afford her insulin. That’s not right.
As co-chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, and the mother of a daughter who relies on insulin, this is an issue that’s incredibly important to me. In our conversation today, I heard a number of heartbreaking stories about how the rising cost of insulin is causing many patients to ration their care or skip doses altogether – putting their lives at risk because they simply can’t afford their medication.
If you’re interested, you can watch our full conversation on my Facebook page.
The fact that the cost of insulin has gone from $20 a vial in 1996 to $275 a vial today is unfathomable to me. And that’s why on Tuesday, as chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight panel, I will be holding a hearing on the skyrocketing cost of this drug to determine what Congress can do to help bring down the price.
Every single person in this country deserves access to quality affordable health care. So, this week, in the face of renewed attacks from the Trump administration to sabotage our health care system, I was proud to join with so many of my fellow House Democrats to introduce the Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions & Making Health Care More Affordable Act. This important bill will help lower health care costs, strengthen protections for those with pre-existing conditions, and get rid of so-called junk health plans.
While I believe every one of us deserves quality affordable health care, I also believe everyone deserves to be paid an equal wage for equal work. A recent study found that women in Colorado are still earning just 84 cents for every dollar a man makes – and that disparity is even greater for women of color. That’s not right and that’s why I was proud to help pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this week to stiffen penalties for workplaces that refuse to provide women equal pay for equal work.
I was also proud to support a resolution to reject Trump’s discriminatory ban on transgender troops serving in the military because our soldier’s patriotism should never be measured by the gender on their birth certificate.
In addition to fighting for these important bills, we’ve also been fighting to protect our environment and combat climate change. On Wednesday, I called on Interior officials to go back and revisit the Trump administration’s irresponsible decision to ease the rules limiting methane emissions. I also sponsored legislation to ban all offshore drilling off of our Pacific and Atlantic coasts, as well as a bill to oppose President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the historic Paris Climate Agreement.
As always, thanks for your support as we take on these important fights.
And please remember, you can always visit my website at degette.house.gov, where you can read my positions on issues and learn about the different ways my staff can assist you. While you’re there, be sure to visit the “Contact” page and send me an email about what matters most to you and your family. Finally, be sure to share this email with your friends, family, and neighbors so that they too can be a part of this important dialogue.
Member of Congress