Legislation that would have prevented insurance companies from charging more than $35 for insulin was recently vetoed by California’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom. Reportedly, this bill would have made it illegal for health and disability insurance providers to charge more than $35 per month for insulin prescriptions. That would have covered everything from premiums to co-pays.
The Democratic leader said earlier this year that insulin would be manufactured in the Golden State. Civica Rx, one of the most important American non-profit pharmaceutical enterprises, has a current contract with the state of California worth $50 million. According to Newsom, both states will produce the “CalRx” insulin, but the state of California will sell a 10-mm vial for only $30.
In a statement, Newsom explained he decided to veto this legislation because the state would be able to get at the “underlying cost” with CalRx, which he described as the best and most “sustainable solution” to expensive pharmaceuticals. The governor also criticized copayments, saying that the enduring expenses will always be transferred to consumers in the form of increased health plans when these are implemented.
Scott Wiener, a Democrat from California’s state senate and the bill’s primary author, stated in a press statement that the governor’s veto was a disastrous decision. It was a “terrible choice” between buying food and insulin, he said, and what Newsom did was a “major setback” for the tens of thousands of Californians with diabetes who will be affected.
San Franciscan Wiener argued that Newsom’s veto of the bill was a lost opportunity that would have prevented these individuals from having to wait years for their high medical care costs to decrease. It was unnecessary, he said, because patients could have gotten their insulin “immediately.”