Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Introduction Of Bipartisan Legislation To Lower Insulin Costs

June 22, 2022

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the INSULIN Act, new bipartisan legislation aimed at lowering the skyrocketing costs of insulin. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Earlier this morning, my colleagues Senators Shaheen and Collins released legislation taking direct aim at one of the most confounding problems facing millions of Americans: the skyrocketing costs of insulin.

After months of hard work and good-faith negotiations, the efforts of my colleagues, Senators Shaheen and Collins, have produced the INSULIN Act. This bipartisan bill will cap insulin at $35 a month, change the system that favors corporations instead of patients by keeping prices high, and help lower costs for millions of Americans with diabetes.

It is my intention to bring the INSULIN Act to the floor of the Senate very soon, and it ought to pass this chamber expeditiously.

Reducing the price of insulin is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue, it’s something that affects millions of Americans in every city and every state.

In fact, state legislatures across the country have passed bills capping the cost of insulin for patients—not just blue states but some deeply red states as well.

Senators Shaheen and Collins approached me earlier in the year and said they wanted to draft a bill that not only capped insulin prices at $35, but in addition they said they also wanted to have a bill that goes deeper and goes to the depth of the problem: to change the system of high prices that puts profits ahead of patients, and lower the cost for millions of Americans with diabetes.

I agreed that would be preferable, I encouraged them, and after a lot of work, hard work, diligent work, they have written a very fine bill.

Now it’s time for Congress to get the job done. If we can pass this bill, it will be a win for everyone, most of all for the millions of Americans who rely insulin to manage their diabetes.

There is no time to waste, because the surge of insulin costs is one of the most infuriating trends of the past decade.

For many people the cost of insulin can climb up to hundreds of dollars a month, sometimes as much as $400 or even more! It is horrible and infuriating!

Skyrocketing insulin costs means that many Americans have to ask some soul-wrenching questions: do I pay for my groceries or do I pay for my medications?

Do I have to ration my supply and take maybe half the dosage each day, which we all know hastens the onset of diabetes and hastens the virulence of diabetes?

Or, some ask, do I have to skip medication altogether?

These are questions no American should ever have to ask, but this is the reality for far too many in this country.

No American should have to go broke just to access the medicines they need to stay alive, so that’s why the Senate should make the INSULIN Act a priority in the coming month.

Again, I want to thank Senators Shaheen and Collins for all their hard work in bringing this bill together. This has been a passion of both of theirs for a very long time. It’s been a priority for many of us in this chamber for years, and to have a bipartisan bill like this one is truly a breakthrough.

Very soon, I intend to have this bill come before the Senate, so we can take decisive, much-needed steps towards lower the costs of insulin for millions who need this drug to stay alive.