In addition to this, President Biden wants to expand healthcare coverage for people left off Medicaid.
In an effort to lower insulin costs for Americans, President Joe Biden called for a new cap on insulin prices during his State of the Union speech on Tuesday.
A $35 per month limit on insulin already went into effect in January as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. However, this cap only applies to older adults on Medicare. To rectify this, Biden plans to push Congress to expand the $35 cap to all people with an insulin prescription.
"[…] there are millions of other Americans who are not on Medicare, including 200,000 young people with Type I diabetes who need insulin to save their lives," Biden said in his remarks.
"Let’s finish the job this time. Let’s cap the cost of insulin at $35 a month for every American who needs it," he added.
However, the measure will need Congressional support, which some sources say is unlikely due to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
During his address, Biden touted his other healthcare achievements, including legislation allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices and limit specific out-of-pocket pharmacy costs.
Biden also said that more Americans have health insurance now than ever before.
"A record 16 million people are enrolled under the Affordable Care Act," he stated.
He remarked that due to a law he signed last year, millions of Americans save $800 annually on health insurance premiums. But that benefit will expire after 2025.
Currently, Americans who do not have health insurance coverage through an employer can apply for coverage through the healthcare marketplace. In addition, depending on income, some people may be eligible for a premium tax credit to reduce their monthly premium. However, the insurance plans offered may not cover all healthcare costs.
Those with incomes that meet income eligibility limits for Medicaid programs can apply for health insurance through state Medicaid agencies. Generally, Medicaid beneficiaries have low out-of-pocket costs.
However, some people can't afford the out-of-pocket costs associated with a marketplace plan yet their income doesn't meet eligibility requirements for Medicaid. Leaving many without health insurance.
To help resolve this problem, a law in the Affordable Health Care Act expanded Medicaid coverage for all adults 18 to 65 with incomes up to 133% (effectively 138%) of the federal poverty level. However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that this expansion was voluntary, and states were not required to comply.
To date, 11 states have not implemented the Medicaid expansion instituted by the Affordable Care Act.
In his address, Biden said, "let’s finish the job, make those savings permanent, and expand coverage to those left off Medicaid."