WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, November 19, U.S. Representative Fred Upton and Representative Peter Meijer joined with the entire Republican caucus in voting no on a bill that would cap insulin prices at $35/month. Upton and Meijer took this position in spite of the fact that Michigan has roughly 1 million people with a form of diabetes.
For Mr. Upton, this is not his first time voting against the interest of people living with diabetes. In fact, Upton has voted at least a dozen times to eliminate health insurance for thousands of Michigan families and to end protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
Mr. Meijer, a freshman member of Congress, is a scion of the wealthy Meijer family who owns the self-named grocery chain that is also a major pharmacy. It is not known how much money the Meijer family stands to gain by keeping the price of insulin high.
How Other Members of Michigan’s Congressional Delegation Voted:
Representative Andy Levin: Levin, a Democrat, voted YES on the bill stating, “I’m seriously pumped up about delivering this transformative package to the American people.”
Representative Brenda Lawrence: Lawrence, a Democrat, voted YES on the bill stating, “We’re lowering the costs of drug prices, creating good-paying jobs, and expanding child care and elder care.”
Representative Rashida Tlaib: Tlaib, a Democrat, voted YES on the bill stating, “I sincerely urge my Senate colleagues to act without delay and for the people, not corporate donors and interests.”
Representative Debbie Dingell: Dingell, a Democrat, voted YES on the bill stating, “With this landmark bill, we are going to create good-paying American jobs, shore up our nation’s supply chain, get the lead out of water pipes, strengthen the care economy, & combat the Climate Crisis.”
Representative Dan Kildee: Kildee, a Democrat, voted YES on the bill stating, “Medicare will be able to negotiate the price of insulin with drug companies – capping out-of-pocket costs of insulin to $35 a month.”
Representative Elissa Slotkin: Slotkin, a Democrat, voted YES on the bill stating, “This bill also breaks the seal on addressing the out-of-control costs of prescription drugs by finally allowing Medicare Part B and D to begin negotiating for lower prices. It also puts a cap on the monthly cost of insulin at $35 per month, while seniors’ out-of-pocket costs on medications will be capped at no more than $2,000 per year – a monumental step that will change millions of lives.”
Representative Haley Stevens: Stevens, a Democrat, voted YES on the bill stating, “Proud to have voted for Michigan families this morning. It’s time to reduce the costs of day care, pre-school and medication for hardworking Michiganders!”
Representatives Tim Walberg, John Moolenaar, Bill Huizenga, Lisa McClain and Jack Bergman, all Republicans, voted NO on the bill. As of press time, none of those who voted no had issued a statement explaining why they think insulin prices should remain high for those who need the lifesaving drug.