Joe Biden is lowering the cost of insulin and health care 

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are capping the cost of insulin for seniors at $35 a month and lowering the cost of prescription drugs and health care.

President Biden and Vice President Harris believe that health care is a right, not a privilege. For decades, people talked about taking on Big Pharma and giving Medicare the authority to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices. President Biden got it done. 

Today, insulin for seniors is capped at $35 a month, down from $400 a month. Starting in 2025, out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs will be capped at $2,000 a year. No longer will seniors have to choose between medicine and groceries. 

These caps save money for individuals and also for taxpayers. Because Medicare will no longer pay exorbitant prices to Big Pharma, the savings from prescription drug reforms are expected to amount to $200 billion over the next ten years.

Under President Biden and Vice President Harris, health coverage is up and the cost of insurance is down. Nine million more Americans have health insurance, and millions of Americans are saving an average of $800 a year on premiums. 

Meanwhile, Donald Trump and his allies want to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the President’s legislation to lower health care and prescription drug costs, endangering coverage for 45 million people, threatening protections for more than 100 million people with pre-existing conditions, and increasing healthcare costs for millions – including raising the cost of insulin.


How did Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take on Big Pharma and win?

For decades, opposition from pharmaceutical companies and their Republican allies allowed Big Pharma to charge Americans two to three times what citizens of other countries paid for the same prescription drugs. 

Then Joe Biden took on Big Pharma and won. 

In 2022, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act. Every Democrat voted in favor of the legislation; every Republican opposed it. The legislation gives Medicare the power to negotiate prescription drug prices and will save millions of seniors money on some of the costliest prescription drugs on the market. First up: capping insulin at $35 a month. Next up: lowering the prices of ten key prescription drugs. 

Now, Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans in Congress plan to gut the Inflation Reduction Act, increasing insulin and prescription drug costs for tens of millions of seniors. This is on top of Trump’s plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act and slash Social Security and Medicare to fund tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy. If enacted, these changes would increase health costs and uninsurance rates—especially for Black, Latino, AANHPI, and Native American populations. 

The Biden-Harris Administration won’t stop fighting to lower prescription drug prices and healthcare costs for seniors and families.

What is the impact of capping insulin at $35 a month?

Thanks to Joe Biden, nearly 4 million seniors with diabetes will have the cost of insulin capped at $35 a month. This is down from the $400 a month Big Pharma has been charging – despite the fact that the making and packaging of insulin costs drug companies around $13. No longer will some seniors have to ration their insulin to pay rent or buy food. And starting next year, new caps will go into effect that limit total prescription drug costs for seniors on Medicare to $2,000 a year—even for expensive cancer drugs that can cost $15,000.

Before Joe Biden took on Big Pharma and won, prescription drug companies ripped us off. They charged Americans two to three times more than what they charged for the same exact drugs in other countries. With insulin, drug companies charged Americans nearly ten times more. 

President Biden is now calling on Congress to finish the job and cap insulin costs at $35 for all—every one of the nearly 40 million Americans with diabetes.  President Biden is also calling on Congress to extend the $2,000-a-year prescription drug cap to everyone. 

What are the prescription drugs that will cost less as a result of Medicare’s new authority to negotiate with the drug companies?

For far too long, Americans have paid more for prescription drugs than any major economy. But now, thanks to Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, Medicare can directly negotiate prescription drug prices with pharmaceutical companies to get a better deal for seniors. 

The drugs selected for the first round of negotiations are:

  • Eliquis, a blood thinner
  • Xarelto, a blood thinner
  • Januvia, a diabetes drug
  • Jardiance, a diabetes drug
  • Enbrel, a rheumatoid arthritis drug
  • Imbruvica, a drug for blood cancers
  • Farxiga, a drug for diabetes, heart failure, and chronic kidney disease
  • Entresto, a heart failure drug
  • Stelara, a drug for psoriasis and Crohn’s disease
  • Fiasp and NovoLog, for diabetes

Seniors paid $3.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs for these prescription drugs in 2022. The negotiated prices will go into effect in 2026.

Joe Biden believes it’s time to go further: he is calling on Congress to accelerate the pace of negotiations by allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices for 500 different prescription drugs over the next decade. Lowering prices will not only save lives; it will save taxpayers another $200 billion.

How is the Biden-Harris Administration expanding health care coverage while lowering health care premiums?

As Joe Biden likes to say, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still a very big deal. He and Kamala Harris believe every American deserves the peace of mind that quality, affordable health insurance brings. 

A record 21 million Americans have signed up for health coverage through the ACA this year. The uninsurance rate of Americans has fallen to record low levels. Increases in health coverage were particularly large for Blacks and Latinos.

Increased tax credits have made a huge difference. Building on the ACA, Joe Biden made premium tax credits more generous. This lowered health care premiums for working families by over $800 per year on average. Joe Biden is now calling on Congress to make lower premiums permanent.

Donald Trump wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Doing so would threaten health care for 45 million Americans, jeopardize coverage or increase costs for 100 million Americans with  pre-existing conditions, threaten access to preventative health care services and mental health care for millions, cause young adults up to age 26 to be kicked off their parent’s health care plan, and send health costs skyrocketing.

What else have President Biden and Vice President Harris done to lower healthcare costs, expand access to health care, and protect consumers?

In addition to increasing coverage and lowering the cost of prescription drugs and health insurance premiums, President Biden and Vice President Harris are taking additional action:

  • Protecting and strengthening Medicare by requiring the ultra-wealthy to pay their fair share—while blocking Trump and his MAGA Republican allies’ attempts to cut benefits.
  • Ensuring Access to Mental Health Care: Expanding access to treatment for substance use disorder, strengthening mental health parity protections, and expanding coverage and investing in behavioral health services. 
  • Cracking Down on Surprise Medical Bills and Junk Insurance: Working to prevent Americans from receiving surprise medical bills or being scammed by junk insurance products. 
  • Expanding Medicaid: Calling on Congress to provide Medicaid-like coverage to people in the 10 states that have not adopted Medicaid expansion.
  • Making Home Care More Available: Delivered $37 billion to all states to expand access to home care and improve the quality of caregiving jobs. Proposing to invest $150 billion over 10 years to improve and expand Medicaid home and community-based services to allow older Americans and people with disabilities to remain in their homes, as well as improve the quality of jobs for home care workers.
  • Supporting New Parents: Extended postpartum Medicaid coverage from two to 12 months—impacting nearly 700,000 women across 44 states and the District of Columbia. Proposing $376 million to expand Medicaid maternal health support services during the pregnancy and postpartum period to improve health outcomes before, during, and after pregnancy and reduce disparities in rates of infant death. 
  • Keeping Kids Covered: Making sure that children can never lose coverage due to red tape from birth until they turn age 6. 
  • Advances Progress toward Biden Cancer Moonshot Goals: Announced roughly 50 new programs, policies, and resources to address five priority actions including: improving access to cancer screening; understanding and addressing environmental and toxic exposures; making progress on cancer prevention; driving innovation to reach communities and individuals; and boosting support for patients, families, and caregivers.  
  • Closing Gaps in Women’s Health Research: Launching the first-ever White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research to fundamentally change how our nation funds women’s health research.