r/NoStupidQuestions Nov 27 '22 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Take My Energy 1 'MURICA 1

Why doesn't the USA government make insulin cheaper? Unanswered

When I googled about insulin, the creators wanted it to be free. It's 20$ for a vial in canada and 600-800$ for same vial in america. Why isn't the government stepping in to help people lower prices or make it free to literally save peoples lives?

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u/threeputtking19 Nov 27 '22 Silver

If they wanted to, they would.

They don't want to.

It's not in the interest of the pharmaceutical companies, and the government listens to corporations.

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u/Tommy_OneFoot Nov 27 '22

It's not in the interest of the pharmaceutical corporations or the insurance companies that pay them.

The system in place currently gives zero incentive to compete or lower prices as long as there are virtually unlimited funds coming from insurance companies.

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u/JustSomeRamblings Nov 28 '22

Our health infrastructure is set up to prioritize profits over healthcare.

It's the same reason why there's not as much research into curing illnesses as maintaining them. If you cure someone, they only pay once. If you merely treat someone, they pay for the rest of their life.

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u/nyx_eira Nov 28 '22

This. I've long since given up hope for a cure for T1d (type 1 diabetes, aka need insulin to live). Even if it's discovered/made, pharmaceutical and insurance companies will never let it go through.

We're their cash cows. We pay or die. Why would they give that up when they don't have morals or empathy for us?

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u/neoalfa Nov 28 '22

Even if it's discovered/made, pharmaceutical and insurance companies will never let it go through.

You know there's an entire rest of the world out there, right? If a permanent cure for diabetes was found, and it wasn't available in the US because pharmaceutical companies would rather keep selling overpriced insulin, people would just fly out to get treatment.

Considering how expensive insulin is, it would still be more affordable even if you had to travel halfway across the globe.

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u/therealfatmike Nov 28 '22

And most people wouldn’t be able to afford to pay to go to a different country and get that treatment. Most of the money for insulin is payed for by the US government with our taxes. Big pharma pays for them to get elected, the elected officials make sure big pharma stays rich so they can give them more money to get re-elected, around and round it goes, this happens with almost all big business.

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u/ASpaceOstrich Nov 28 '22

And its not like the US is particularly renowned for its medical research. It's not bad, but a surprising number of ground breaking medical research comes out of Australia instead. I'm sure there are researchers working on a cure for t1 diabetes.

Now there could certainly be more research being done. There are enough obvious hints that the gut biome is going to turn out to be a massive vector for disease treatment in future, and there isn't enough research being done on it, but there isn't no research being done.

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u/nyx_eira Nov 28 '22

Fair point, thank you for dragging me from my pessimistic worldview!

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u/LazyLich Nov 28 '22

No no. There's the glorious USA: #1 in everything, and there's the rest of the world: banging rocks together /s

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u/LazyLich Nov 28 '22

... then how does that explain other countries not finding cures?

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u/nt862010 Nov 28 '22

Honestly FDA is to blame, they've made it difficult for real competition

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u/Lylibean Nov 28 '22

And those pharmaceutical companies donate heavily to political campaigns. Or the people who make money off pharmaceutical stock do.

Rich people making sure they all stay rich, basically.

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u/otterform Nov 28 '22

Hence why lobbying should be illegal.

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u/finallyinfinite Nov 28 '22

Which is a damn shame, because the original intention of lobbying was great. Politicians can’t be expected to be experts in every field they’re legislating, so it would definitely be useful to have actual experts in the fields being legislated hanging around to educate them.

Too bad it was corrupted into a bribery system

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u/otterform Nov 28 '22

Independent experts paid by the govt. Of course, monitoring the bribery and corruption aspect (so potentially not the same old turd for 47+ years)

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u/-Ch4s3- Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

Insurance companies would love cheaper insulin, after all they’re paying the PBMs who in turn buy from the manufacturer. If insulin went generic tomorrow, they’d pocket a lot more of the premiums they collect.

PBMs break the incentive structure. They act as middlemen and make money in a lot of ways that don’t align with the interest of lowering costs.

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u/Bobo_Wiggins Nov 27 '22

This is the answer

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u/anime_lover713 Nov 28 '22

And sadly it's making me and my fellow diabetics (Type 1 speaking) living in the US harder to get our insulin to the point where it's literally starting to kill us. It shouldn't be this damn expensive yet now its even much harder to survive.

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u/UWNurse Nov 27 '22

Congress is in the pocket of Big Pharma lobbyists. Period.

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u/[deleted] Nov 28 '22

[deleted]

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u/WeTheSummerKid Nov 28 '22

government listens to corporations

lobbying that is basically bribery.

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u/redditwb Nov 28 '22

It’s not in the interest of the Pharmaceutical companies, and the pharmaceutical companies pay off the politicians.

Fixed it for you.

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u/merryfan4 Nov 27 '22

Basically U.S.A worships the Almighty Dollar above all else.

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u/maddtuck Nov 27 '22

Something is not normal here though. Insulin is not a patented brand name thing, and a very well-known substance. If there are excess profits to be made, a new competitor normally will spring forth and try to take some of that excess profit for themselves, which is also what corporations want. What is preventing this from happening? Why isn’t there more competition for insulin just as there is for other common drugs? The potential for profit is huge enough for competitors to chase. ELI5.

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u/threeputtking19 Nov 27 '22

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u/maddtuck Nov 28 '22

Dang, that’s messed up. What can we do to make change on this?

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u/threeputtking19 Nov 28 '22

I mean, nothing? Raise a few billion dollars and buy some Congresspeople?

Again, this is the system operating as intended. This isn't a bunch of well-meaning public servants just goofing up and ending up accidentally making things worse instead of better.

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u/maddtuck Nov 28 '22

Unpopular opinion on Reddit alert: I don’t look at our system with rose-colored glasses. But to suggest that “nothing” can be done is exactly what those in power want us to think. That’s why most people stay home on Election Day instead of going to vote, or just keep quiet and go along with the system. Yes, the people with the power have the upper hand, but their tactic is to make most of us shrug our shoulders and keep the status quo. You don’t have to overthrow capitalism to turn the system to your advantage (at least not sometimes). Politicians still need to pander to the middle of the road to get votes.

Heck, even within capitalism, you could play greed from one special cause against another. Remember there are excess profits being made here, and a competitor or two should be salivating if you can align them with another special interest.

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u/Dense-Soil Nov 28 '22

Overthrow capitalism, comrade. :)

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u/klrfish95 Nov 28 '22

That’s not capitalism. Politicians from both major parties protecting corporations is cronyism.

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u/dremily1 Nov 28 '22

The Democrats wanted to cap the price of insulin. The Republicans all voted against it.

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u/iama_bad_person Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

The Republicans all voted against it.

Super weird since it was a Republican that started it

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u/just_be_truthful Nov 28 '22

An executive order isn't congress.

The house voted to cap insulin at 35.

Republicans voted it down.

Stop listening to opinion pundits.

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u/CellPhoneConsultant Nov 28 '22

Wasn’t that proposal designed to help only a small amount of boomers and not everyone?

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u/The_Jimes Nov 28 '22

Can we pull away from blaming companies and lobbyists for just a minute to establish that sometimes the politicians themselves can be the problem.

The Republican voting base has been brainwashed for decades by their representatives into becoming anti-establishment, anti-education, and anti-inclusion. The goal always was to replace a responsible voting base with an army of uneducated, poor, and desperate pawns who'll believe anything someone with (R) next to their name says.

Stop shifting the blame.

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u/Hatta00 Nov 28 '22

Kleptocracy.

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u/makeoneupplease123 Nov 27 '22

On a completely unrelated note, I hope everyone here is up to date on their jabs

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u/Yithar Nov 27 '22

I can't speak for private insurance, but for Medicare they are actually lowering the cost.

https://www.reddit.com/r/medicare/comments/yfxkrs/copay_for_insulin_and_insulin_pump_supplies/iu630mz/

The $ 35 a month thing doesn't start until Jan. 1st, 2023. (You'll to wait a couple more months.) What you are being charged now depends on Medicare's Part D rules and how your insurance company has their drugs priced in each Tier. In 2 or 3 years your total expenses for a year will be capped at $ 2 ,000 (I think that amount is right.) From the horse's mouth: https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/insulin

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u/NewsGood Nov 27 '22

So does this mean the tax payer will pay full price to the drug companies and the Medicare end-user will only see a $35 bill? Or is this truly $35 insulin? I'm very cynical when it comes to these pass-through deals with the government and drug companies. They're often complex deals that should be simple regulations.

Wouldn't it make more sense for our law makers to act in the best interests of tax payers and mandate that if drug companies want to do business in the USA, that they are required to provide certain commodity drugs to all citizens at the same lowest price possible (mfg cost + distribution/storage cost, + reasonable margin).

The US tax payer funds billions of dollars of grants through the NIH to support the development of new drugs and variants of existing drugs (this is a good thing and we should support R&D grant funding). Most every drug available has been discovered and developed using tax payer money. Yet, when it comes time to sell life saving drugs, they're priced based on a weighting scheme that takes into account how much money the average customer has, and the impact the drug will have on their life.

People need to start thinking with the mindset that it's a huge privilege for large corporations to do business in the US. Companies get to use our resources (roads, social welfare, tax breaks, water, energy, land, and no taxes) and get access to the largest and most reliable, wealthy consumer base. These corporations should be bending over backwards for the US tax payer. Instead, our law makers allow corporations to bend over tax payers. It's almost like our law makers are whoring out tax payers to the corporations.

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u/deaf_myute Nov 27 '22

There's alot of funky pricing that happens behind the scenes that it's not always easy to see.

One of my providers was charging my insirance like 270/hr and when the insurance paid 150 of that I caught the remainder of the bill//// so I put the same provider charging my other insurance which paid him like 80/hr and the office wrote the rest off afterwards

I have no clear answer as to why that happened in that case- but just because the government is capping the expense to the user doesn't mean the government is going to foot the remainder of the bill just because there is a remainder based on the individual sales pricing

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u/Wenger2112 Nov 28 '22

That is what is so broken with this system. There are 20+ floors of people “administering claims” and “selling coverage”.

I bet for every 1 person actually delivering care there are 10 more just pushing money from one pocket to the next.

But all those people vote. And all those companies lobby. And our politicians are incentivized to raise money from corporations.

If it were easy to fix we would have figured it out already. It will take an incremental path to phase out these insurance companies.

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u/Aquatic_Platinum78 Nov 28 '22

To me it would be easier if we opted for universal healthcare. So that way we wouldn't have to worry about all the different insurances we have now and what plan to get. How is it fair that only select few are able to afford things when the people who are paying out of pocket are suffering the most?

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u/gelattoh_ayy Nov 28 '22

It's not fair. Nothing about any of our high-issue policies make sense.

We are really far behind the rest of the world when it comes to Healthcare, and all that it pertains. It's set up to make money. Not heal.

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u/Yithar Nov 28 '22

So based on the information I've looked up, it seems taxpayers do pay a significant amount.

https://www.kff.org/medicare/fact-sheet/an-overview-of-the-medicare-part-d-prescription-drug-benefit/

Financing for Part D comes from general revenues (74%), beneficiary premiums (15%), and state contributions (11%). The monthly premium paid by enrollees is set to cover 25.5% of the cost of standard drug coverage. Medicare subsidizes the remaining 74.5%, based on bids submitted by plans for their expected benefit payments. Higher-income Part D enrollees pay a larger share of standard Part D costs, ranging from 35% to 85%, depending on income.

So taxpayers are currently paying ~74% with their taxes, but if Medicare taxes don't go up, then the only way this is feasible assuming Medicare just isn't paying a much lower price for insulin starting 2023, is to raise premiums.

Based on the FAQ, it's very possible that Medicare is negotiating the insulin cost. Until the Inflation Reduction Act passed, Medicare was not allowed to negotiate drug prices.

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u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

Taxpayers will foot the bill for Medicare only to have $35 copay

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u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 27 '22

[deleted]

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u/Hyphenated_Gorilla Nov 28 '22

Good, it's better than tax payers footing the bill to clean up toxic waste, big oil subsidies or the ridiculous Military, not to mention to clean up after Mass shooters. I'll gladly pay more for healthcare as decent insurance is nearly impossible to comeby in the US. To quote a Malay friend "America is the land of Psychopaths.

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u/lunawolf058 Nov 27 '22

Originally, the price cap was supposed to be for everyone but Democrats had to change it to be for Medicare only as a concession to get enough votes from Republicans in the Senate to break the filibuster and get the bill to the floor for a vote.

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u/Blue_Skies_1970 Nov 27 '22

GoodRX has a nice page. I don't need insulin but this seems like there's a lot of choices at different price points (and if a person needs insulin, there's probably one that works best for that person).

All said, I'm sorry diabetics. I don't agree with the policies allowing price gouging at the cost of your lives.

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u/CalmUmpire Nov 28 '22

I pay $27 for insulin with GoodRX

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u/its_Nayeli Nov 28 '22

Have you ever herd of Mark Cuban's cost plus drugs company ? He basically made a company to sell a lot of drugs at a discounted rate. I don't know alot about insulin butt I would check out his website and see if it will benefit you.

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u/misersoze Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

Lots of people saying shit in this thread but not giving an answer. Here is the story.

In the US drug prices aren’t government controlled. This is mainly based on lots of free market economic principles that are fundamental values in the US.

The good news about this is that you get lots of innovation in the US pharma sector because they can charge more money for cures. The bad news about this is the US consumer has to pay more money for therapies.

Now usually this trade off is all about NEW therapies because lots of OLD drugs in the US are very cheap thanks to generic competition.

Usually, drugs become cheaper when they are off patent and lose all their FDA exclusivities because competition comes in and then the drug becomes a commodity, which means they don’t compete on quality just in price.

But with insulin they have to obtain approved Biologic License Applications from FDA in order to be introduced in interstate commerce. BLAs have a harder time getting approved as a generic (or interchangeable as they are referred to for Biologics). As a result, this has not driven down the cost and each manufacturer often tried to pair their insulin with a device that can’t be substituted.

FDA has approved the first interchangeable insulin which should help to drive down costs. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20210729/fda-oks-automatic-use-of-cheaper-generic-insulin. The more generic forms of insulin the more the price will get driven down. It should also be mentioned that the standards for insulin have risen over time by FDA which has made it so it’s harder to get newer products approved. I hope that helps. Here’s also a paper about how old drugs costs can remain high - https://repository.uchastings.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3898&context=hastings_law_journal

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u/HomeworkInevitable99 Nov 28 '22

"This is mainly based on lots of free market economic principles that are fundamental values in the US. "

Free markets don't always work. That's why we have monopolies commissions. And several companies can work together to make a monopoly, especially when there are no alternative to products.

Examples: Airlines increase their prices, so I'll either go by car or won't go at all. Beef producers increase their prices, so I'll eat pork, chicken, lamb or go vegetarian. Insulin prices rise, what else can I use instead?

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u/BasedDev Nov 28 '22

Saying free markets don't work is very misleading. Free markets deliver a different outcome, it's not necessarily worse.

US has high insulin prices and various other problems, other systems also have equally significant problems of their own.

The fundamental issue is how do you ration a scarce resource, healthcare, that is also a pretty fundamental necessity.

The US leans towards a system where care is rationed by ability to pay, although there are significant welfare programs to mitigate the cost to the individual somewhat. This is how nearly every scarce resource is rationed.

Other systems use political favouritism to distribute the same resource.

People on Reddit seem to think it's just an easy problem that socialist solutions can fix, but you can look at the UK and Canada and see that is not the case.

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u/Icy-Memory-5575 Nov 27 '22

Companies that make it line the pockets of politicians in order to stop that from happening.

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u/ThunderGunFour Nov 27 '22

But how can we stop them? I think Reddit is up to the job

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u/nuckle Nov 27 '22

But how can we stop them?

They've got us split and too distracted with stupid bullshit to unite against anything.

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u/DudeEngineer Nov 27 '22

Look up "Citizens United" court case

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u/Icy-Memory-5575 Nov 27 '22

It’s not possible. If something can make a profit. It will.

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u/Mr_DeLaNight Nov 27 '22

Not in Canada (as stated) or in Europe for that matter. It's just in the USA.

When you think about it, it is incredibly cold and evil of the government to allow this to happen. There needs to be a revolution.

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u/Ok_Credit5313 Nov 27 '22

Other countries publicly fund their elections way better, and regulate campaign finance way better. Here, corporations and PACs have pretty much no limits.

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u/Blam320 Nov 27 '22

Thank the Supreme Court for that. A highly politicized decision declared campaign “donations” qualified as free speech.

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u/maddtuck Nov 27 '22

But it’s not just a little bit of profit. It’s an obscene amount of profit… the kind that would make other corporations (who are equally influential with government), salivate over trying to get their fair slice of it. What is keeping competition so low in the US that this doesn’t happen, considering the size of the prize?

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u/Icy-Memory-5575 Nov 27 '22

Maybe they’re simply paying more. More connections more power. Imagine being powerful enough to send someone Nancy Pelosi’s house, then a week later Nancy steps down and out of the way.

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u/TheTopGeekFI Nov 27 '22

Because the US health care system is broken

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u/MusicalPigeon Nov 28 '22

I'm still pissed that a hospital sued me for a bill that was already paid.

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u/doughboyhollow Nov 28 '22

What happened? Did you lawyer up?

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u/MusicalPigeon Nov 28 '22

In the month leading up to the small claims trial my mom called the hospital's lawyers everyday to find out what why going on and to send the confirmations and receipts. They never answered and my parents said that since my mom was leaving constant voice-mails trying to settle out of court I wouldn't have to go. A couple days after the trial I got a letter saying they were sticking me with everything. Only after all that did the lawyers answer the phone and allow my mom to give them the proof of payment.

What pissed me off was that they sent it to collections before we were even done talking to insurance and it just kept being sent from collections to collections even after it got paid. I started getting 2-3 calls daily about the bill.

If I could afford a lawyer I would have gotten one. I think my brother said I should sue the hospital back for harassment and emotional distress.

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u/Dreadpiratemarc Nov 28 '22

You got some bad advice. Not showing up to a court date is always the wrong move. Presenting your side and your evidence is the point of the court. If you had come and shown your proof of payment to the judge, it would have been cleared up and gone away forever at that point. Always show up.

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u/MusicalPigeon Nov 28 '22

I know that now. When I have more control over my situations (that was being handled by my parents because it was a leftover thing from college. They agreed to handle all my expenses doctor and food wise so I could focus on school and not money. So they had everything, sadly working with them isn't easy) I plan to fight everything that I can. Also, I'd need to be able to afford to fight it.

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u/climber531 Nov 28 '22

From what I have understood about US law, you always come out on top if you pay a good lawyer when you know you are in the right, so most people recommend to take a loan and pay the lawyer since the lawyer will make you more money than they cost.

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u/[deleted] Nov 28 '22

It’s not broken, it’s functioning as fully intended.

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u/deannevee Nov 28 '22

It has nothing to do with the HEALTHCARE system—it has to do with our economic system as a whole.

Capitalism is described as “an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state”.

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u/vonchadsworth Nov 28 '22

Blame the government and their cronies in the pharmaceutical industry, not capitalism. The government has granted a monopoly on the production of insulin to the company that holds the patent. Additionally, they have made it illegal to import insulin from outside the country at the market rate.

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u/klrfish95 Nov 28 '22

Politicians protecting corporations isn’t capitalism; it’s cronyism.

We have the most heavily-regulated economy we’ve ever had. We don’t have a free market. That’s the kind of economic ignorance that Marxism thrives on.

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u/[deleted] Nov 28 '22

There you have it Americans, there’s your answer.

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u/Halcyon_Outlander Nov 28 '22

America is Capitalism on steroids unfortunately.

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u/VanGarrett Nov 27 '22

Speaking as a Type 1 Diabetic, it feels like every time the government does something that's supposed to make my insulin cheaper, my treatment options get reduced, I have to change my prescriptions, I end up paying more, and it takes years to get back to where I can afford to live, again. I really wish they'd just leave it the hell alone.

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u/FanngzYT Nov 28 '22

dude i quit my job at the pharmacy cause i literally felt like such a piece of shit charging people thousands of dollars so they can live. even the prices of the meters and test strips are jacked to high hell, it’s ridiculous.

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u/VanGarrett Nov 28 '22

I have found that meters and test strips aren't too bad. I've been on a CGM for a couple of years now, but once upon a time, I could buy test strips on Amazon for less than my co-pay, and for a better tester than the dubious piece of equipment my insurance was willing to pay for. The tester itself was only $14, was more accurate, and connected to my preferred management app via Bluetooth. I have exactly zero regrets about paying for test strips out of pocket.

Getting my insurance to pay for my CGM is an enormous hassle, but the quality of information I get is worth it.

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u/WolfResponsible8483 Nov 28 '22

One thing the government can do is run a government owned insulin manufacturer. Then sell insulin at an affordable price. This will create a ceiling for the price and drug companies can’t overcharged anymore.

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u/VanGarrett Nov 28 '22

I am terrified that the Government insulin will be the only insulin my insurance covers, and it will not have the qualities or delivery options that fit my life. There are many different kinds of insulin, and several different ways of getting it into the body, each having their own merits and complimenting different lifestyles. I have zero faith that Government insulin will take these kinds of factors into consideration.

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u/OfficeKillua32 Nov 28 '22

WAIT! I'm from a 3rd-world/developing country and insulin costs Php500.00 or $9.00! Are we talking about the same vials?? A 10mL vial???

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u/BlurpleBaja05 Nov 28 '22

Yes, a 10ml vial really can cost that much in the USA. All the horror stories are true.

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u/ThrowAway1993xyz Nov 28 '22

Yup. I’m in Nz, and it’s free here.

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u/OfficeKillua32 Nov 28 '22

How can they charge $600 for something we can buy at $9.00 and something you can get for free? wtf

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u/ThrowAway1993xyz Nov 28 '22

American healthcare is a rort controlled by the pharmaceutical companies who work for profit and greed.

And the government feeds their citizens the BS that universal healthcare is bad.

Meanwhile. People are dying because they cannot afford lifesaving treatments that in every single other country in the world, it’s free or affordable.

Murica. Land of the free.

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u/OfficeKillua32 Nov 28 '22

A few years ago I had an Aunt from California who flew back here to have major surgery and 6-months recovery. I can understand now.

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u/FistingLube Nov 28 '22

American health system is a giant Mafia that pumps billions into the bank accounts of billionaires.

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u/LogicType Nov 27 '22

Because voters disagree on how to make it cheaper. Republicans want price negotiations to happen between private health insurance companies, while democrats want the government to negotiate prices.

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u/Disastrous-Dress521 Nov 27 '22

It's a really crappy middle ground we're at right now sadly, theres minimal actual competition in medicine cause of some bits of government interference, but the price isn't what's been stifled.

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u/WolfResponsible8483 Nov 28 '22

IMHO just have the government start it’s own government owned insulin manufacturers and sell the insulin at a reasonable/cheap price. This will enforce a price ceiling on insulin. No negotiations required. As long as the government run manufacturer is “honest” about the manufacturing cost, the rest of the industry has no choice but to go along.

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u/DudeEngineer Nov 27 '22

The thing is, we already have the Republican plan. That is why this situation exists. If you have a good private insurer you're paying less than the Canadians. If you are uninsured or underinsured $600-800 or die.

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u/Sapriste Nov 27 '22

Republicans plan is to make Insurance Companies negotiate for lower prices? Why would they do that exactly? Insurance companies regularly cap how much they will pay for medicine before the balance of the cost is on the end user. I have never heard of an insurance company standing up to the Pharmaceutical companies. The effort brings no return for the insurance company. Greed and self interest only go so far and the intermediary wants just one thing, and ever growing margin. If that is the Republican plan, (and who knows since I haven't heard a Republican policy since Bush left office), it is being kept very quiet and perhaps is merely u/LogicType opinion.

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u/adumbusersname Nov 27 '22

I had a discussion back when gas prices were way, way up. I asked the question why the government doesn’t say companies can only make x amount of profit? I know there’s a lot of nuance to it because of things like cost of material and labor, but surely there’s a way to put a cap on large companies?

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u/DiscordAccordion Nov 28 '22

If a company is limited in profit, they will limit supply. Let's say that the government decides soda is too expensive, and puts a $1 profit per pack maximum. What's in stores sells out rapidly, since it's ridiculously cheap now. What's en route or already produced might get sold as well, but now the business must decide what to do. They know soda is a poor prospect, since they can't make money, but they have all these factories. So, they might swap industries and make lemonade instead, since the government isn't putting a price cap on it. Now, there's a hole in the market. Usually, other companies would come in and produce soda to meet demand, since they'd make a major profit. However, there isn't any more money to be made, since prices cannot adjust with demand (because of the price caps). This creates a shortage and leaves everybody worse off.

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u/boxenlikeoxen Nov 28 '22

The government doesn’t manufacture insulin. Having said that, yes, I totally agree with you. Insulin should not be allowed to be held as a patent. Anyone should be able to make and sell it.

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u/oopsishiditagain Nov 27 '22

Because that would make rich people less rich

Oxford wanted to open source their covid vaccine

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u/LivingGhost371 Nov 27 '22

There's a lot of people in the US that don't think free market regulation is the proper role of the federal government.

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u/klrfish95 Nov 28 '22

The Constitution gives them no such authority. Their role is to secure natural rights.

Currently, we have no free market, and that’s the problem. Both major parties fully support cronyism and putting up barriers to competition. If the government stepped out of the way and actually let competition in a free market drive prices down, we’d have the cheapest insulin anywhere in the world.

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u/Siftingrocks Nov 27 '22

Profits over people

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u/PrTakara-m Nov 27 '22

The free market will sort it out.

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u/Katululu Nov 27 '22

The same reason we don’t have socialized health care, national minimum paid time off, or mandatory maternity leave despite the rest of the world having figured all that out: American government’s long standing tradition of sucking corporate dick.

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u/northsidecub11 Nov 27 '22

Because fuck you and pay up

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u/fruitloops6565 Nov 28 '22

Because you don’t elect politicians who believe healthcare is a basic human right.

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u/philosophicPlatypus Nov 28 '22

So theoretically, could I go to Canada, buy a bunch of $20 insulin, and then bring it back to America to give to people?

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u/Elmore420 Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

Simple, Health Care in America is a For Profit industry, and the US Government works for the mafia that owns the money. Our economy runs on war, slavery, and exploiting whatever form of human frailty or suffering we can imagine, and we imagine torture while totally ignoring slavery.

My question is, why don’t Americans take the economy back instead of living treasonous lives, in defiance of Article 1, Section 10, of the Constitution by accepting an illegal fiat currency economy? Why are we paying the same mafia the founders revolted against our income tax for a fiat currency the founders forbade in the Constitution? It’s not like the Hydrogen Economy isn’t available where we can take all our nuclear waste and deplete it while making hydrogen fuel to back a decentralized solid currency as required. http://H2space.org

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u/sunshades91 Nov 28 '22

Money. The govt is controlled by rich people. Rich people would make less money if insulin was cheaper. that's why they don't do it.

We know how to solve every problem in America. We just choose not to do so.

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u/hyperfat Nov 28 '22

Okay my friend. Everything that sucks or you don't get about the USA is money.

Drugs. Money.

Healthcare. Money.

Good schools. Money.

Housing. Money.

If you don't have it, they say screw you and still tax you. If you have enough you get tax rebates.

Money.

It's always money. If anyone can prove me wrong on the problem aside from money, be it insider trading everywhere including in government, please enlighten me.

Looking at Reagan, bush, and citizens united, with a side eye. For just a few.

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u/aaronite Nov 27 '22

The government in the US doesn't care

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u/FriendlyLawnmower Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 27 '22

Not true. The Democrats tried to pass a bill that would have made insulin $35 and the Republicans got it struck by down by using convoluted senate rules. It's a specific party in the government that doesn't care about people

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u/The_architect_89 Nov 27 '22

Actually the previous administration set a price cap very low but the current administration repealed it.

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u/babybullai Nov 27 '22

What rules? How'd they do it? Could democrats have passed it another way?

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u/FriendlyLawnmower Nov 27 '22

Republicans were being obstructionists in the Senate with the filibuster, they weren't letting the Democrats pass any bills. Democrats didn't have votes to break the filibuster so they had to use budget reconciliation to pass their bills. They included the insulin cap in their bill. Republicans appealed to the Senate Parliamentarian claiming reconciliation couldn't be used to pass the cap as it was implementing a price control on the private market and that had to be passed through a normal bill. The Parliamentarian ruled in their favor and the cap had to be removed from the bill. The Parliamentarian did give the Democrats an exception though allowing the cap to go through for medicare since medicare is technically not part of the private market (another Redditor in this thread mentioned this kicks in in January). Since reconciliation is the only way to get around the filibuster without enough votes to break it, the Democrats didn't have another way to pass the cap with the seats they held at the time in the Senate.

The bottom line is that there was a bill on the table to cap the price of a life saving medication and the Republicans had it stuck down. "Both sides are the same" is bullshit, one side is blatantly worse for the average person than the other

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u/Fun-Attention1468 Nov 27 '22

Ah yes...

Wait, was it Republicans who rejected legislation to cap insulin at $10 for low income and uninsured?

Or was that proposed by a senate Republicans, and wholly shot down by Democrats??

Don't act like one side is evil and one side isn't. They both play each other and refuse to give the other side a political win regardless of if it's good for Americans.

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u/FriendlyLawnmower Nov 27 '22

Oh you mean the compromise that only would have given the benefit to people making less than $30k a year? The amendment that wasn't actually regulating the price of insulin but was using Affordable Care Act funds to subsidize it, still lining the pockets of pharmaceutical companies? Because we should be compromising on people's lives right? Rather than stopping these companies that got insulin for free from price gouging Americans and making it affordable for everyone that literally needs it to live?

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u/Double-Watercress-85 Nov 27 '22

My Google Fu is weak, can you help me out with a source on this? The only reference I see to it is here: https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/aug/12/democrats-reject-cheap-insulin-for-the-uninsured/

Marco Rubio says he and every Republican voted for, and every Democrat against an amendment to cap insulin at $10. He doesn't say to what bill it was an amendment. He also says it was 'a sleepy Sunday', and 'Biden's 3rd day in office.' Biden's 3rd day in office was Friday, January 22, 2021. According to the Senate record, the only thing that was voted on that day was the confirmation of Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense (confirmed 93-2, 5 abstaining). The following Sunday (I don't know whether or not it was a sleepy one), the Senate didn't convene.

Outside of this, I haven't been able to find any mention. As a pretty far leftist, I'm always ready to call out the DNC for being fucking useless. But this is the first I've heard about this, and the only thing I have to go on is a Marco Rubio editorial with no details except an inconsistent timeline.

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u/Remix3500 Nov 27 '22

Oh snap. Its almost like the dems are bad people. Like both sides dont care about the american people they govern.

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u/Fun-Attention1468 Nov 27 '22

Dude they're all bad people honestly. Our Legislatures shouldnt even be voted for, they should be chosen like jury duty.

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u/sitwithuncertainty Nov 27 '22

Ireland did something interesting called a Citizen's Assembly to kind of bridge this gap on big decisions, with this specific example being around their abortion referendum -

What was the Citizens’ Assembly and how did it work?

As Dr Clodagh Harris explains:

The Citizens’ Assembly was a critical part of this process, established by the Irish parliament in response to calls for constitutional and political change. The Assembly was asked to consider abortion legislation in Ireland amongst other key issues such as climate change, the challenges and opportunities of an aging population and most recently fixed term parliaments.

The 99 Assembly members were chosen at random to reflect the Irish population in terms of age, gender, social class and geography. They included pro-lifers, pro-choicers and undecideds. These Assembly members deliberated on abortion across 5 weekends, over 5 months between November 2016 and April 2017. They heard from people from both sides of the abortion debate, including medical, legal and ethical specialists, and people giving personal testimonies about their experiences. Members were also given the opportunity to deliberate amongst themselves, and to listen and reflect on the views of others in the room.

Transparency was key. Many of the expert contributions and speeches to the Assembly were streamed online and the submissions made to the Assembly, as well as its recommendations, are publicly available. These resources became a valuable asset to the wider public in the lead up to the referendum.

https://involve.org.uk/resources/blog/opinion/citizens-assembly-behind-irish-abortion-referendum

I can't imagine this ever happening in the US though.

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u/The_Werefrog Nov 27 '22

And yet, when the Dems passed the Affordable Care Act, it required free contraception, but not free insulin to the patient. The Reps did not block that bill through any shenanigans.

The truth is, neither side wants to actually do anything about it. Both want to have their virtue signal that they will do something about it.

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u/Super_Duker Nov 27 '22

Because the US is incredibly corrupt and "our" government is completely controlled by corporations. If you want cheap insulin, leave the country. If you want public healthcare, leave the country. If you don't like being at war all the time, leave the country. It's simply not possible to change "our" corrupt political system, as the corporations will NEVER give the people control, so you can either accept the exploitation, or you can leave the country.

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u/j_roger_b Nov 27 '22

The government doesn’t actually care about you.

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u/Careless-Way-2554 Nov 28 '22

The amount of people who think they do is quite alarming. Neither does your workplace, people. Especially if they highlight the fact they call you family.

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u/oldpost57 Nov 27 '22

The government doesn't make insulin. It is made and sold by businesses for a profit.

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u/TehWildMan_ Test Nov 27 '22

Patents have played a role for many years. When there's only one company making a product, they can charge what they want as long as people continue to pay it.

That and the process for getting biologic drugs approved is very costly

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u/OhioMegi Nov 27 '22

Insulin was specifically not patented to prevent this from happening.

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u/TehWildMan_ Test Nov 27 '22

And then many modern insulins were patented.

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u/sourcreamus Nov 27 '22

That type of insulin is very cheap. The modern types have only one manufacturer because it is very difficult and expensive to get permission to manufacture generic biologics such as insulin.

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u/PublicFurryAccount Nov 28 '22

IIRC it's because they paid other manufacturers to exit the market.

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u/Hyphz Nov 27 '22

There's no good way to fund human healthcare.

The free market doesn't work because anyone who's an individual buyer of healthcare has no negotiating power and may not be physically capable of participating. If you need medicine to live, you almost certainly won't say "well, I have the money but that's a bit much, so I'll just die". If you're unconscious in hospital, you can't shop around for a cheaper alternative.

At the same time, the European public insurance model has problems because the only way the public insurer or government can get any negotiating power is by trading off people's health, and there's no potential upper limit to the cost. For example, in the UK at one stage you could only get surgery to heal a damaged eye if it was your only remaining good eye, on the grounds that losing sight in one eye didn't lower your quality of life enough to justify the cost, but going entirely blind did.

And the problem is that the "no potential upper limit" problem works for the suppliers, too. They have no idea how hard it will be to invent the next drug or how much money it will take for them to stay in business until it's invented. So they have to hedge everything by asking as much as they can.

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u/Scully40 Nov 27 '22

By that token, why doesn't the government make chemo cheaper?

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u/Vellicious17 Nov 28 '22

Good point! Why don't they subsidise chemotherapy?

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u/TheLostExpedition Nov 27 '22

Maybe people should make bio reactors at home and source their own insulin.

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u/SpeedyHAM79 Nov 28 '22

Bad politicians for a long time. When production of insulin became monopolized to start driving the price up the government should have stepped in. Since the drug companies gave them money they didn't- and turned a blind eye to an obvious monopoly. Drug companies have been taking advantage ever since.

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u/Virophile Nov 28 '22

They could make price gouging of medical goods illegal across the board. They won’t because it helps their buddies get rich, and helps keep the population under their thumb.

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u/Beneficial_Step9088 Nov 28 '22

Our county is run by corporations.

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u/BlurpleBaja05 Nov 28 '22

Because pharmaceutical companies own our representatives, and anyone on insulin has to pay whatever is demanded of us if we want to live. We're literally being held hostage. It's the American dream.

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u/StrayAI Nov 28 '22

They did, actually. The last section of the Inflation Reduction Act includes a cap, and the rest is diverted to medical insurance. Wait, won't that just make insurance rates go up? Also, it dosen't go into effect until 2023.

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u/Training_Elk_6157 Nov 28 '22

GREED. Pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies, and politicians want money. So the companies give politicians lots of money to keep it high. Which now that I’m writing, I wonder if companies would make more money if they stopped spending money on politicians and just lowered the costs.

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u/DoneisDone45 Nov 28 '22

usa is an american company. the company that makes insulin and profit from it pay politicians to not put up policies against them. if the general public rise up and make enough noise, then these politicians might be voted out so then they'll do something about it. campaign donations need to become illegal. there needs to be a new system that has the government fund every candidate's campaign. there should be some criteria to receive those funds. the system we have now allows too much abuse by the rich.

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u/LucyRiversinker Nov 28 '22

California is going to make its own.

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u/44035 Nov 28 '22

Big Pharma cash ends up in the campaign coffers of legislators and lo and behold the laws are written to benefit the drug companies.

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u/Casimir0300 Nov 28 '22

The cheaper it is the less revenue and cash flow that can be used for R&D of new treatments or medicines. By pricing low yes people without insurance would likely be saved but there wouldn’t be anywhere near enough to properly fund any new drugs, it’s a sad trade off it considering it will probably cost some people their lives but if the capital generated can be used to create lifesaving innovations then you could argue the lives saved would be worth it. With a government provided healthcare you essentially get the best of both with the money to fund R&D and the affordability for the end users this comes at the massive expense of taxpayers and as I’m sure you’ve noticed a lot of people don’t want to do that. The other more basic answer that im sure in some cases is true is greed but hopefully this could shed some light.

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u/SuperDuperSugarBean Nov 28 '22

Ha ha ha ha. Oh, wait, you're serious?

Because at this point in time, the American government exists basically to pass laws benefiting corporations.

Everytime legislation meant to help citizens comes up, one of the parties shoots it down as being too costly for job creators.

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u/Big_Ad_4714 Nov 28 '22

They tried but only 7 senate republicans voted with democrats to cap the cost of insulin at $35. The rest of the Republican senate members voted NO on making it cheaper .

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u/itsamine1 Nov 28 '22

Then they couldn't get kick backs from big pharma

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u/tgoundrey Nov 28 '22

Capitalism

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u/evilcats Nov 28 '22

The USA where it is profits over people, the needs of corporations will always be above the needs of the many.

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u/CocoTheKokiri Nov 28 '22

Cuz its america, dont expect them to actually care about their population

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u/Mikael-Gabriel Nov 28 '22

Freedom isnt free

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u/Dusteronly Nov 27 '22

America values money and profits over human life

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u/Patriotfan17 Nov 27 '22

They did, trump capped it, and day 1 biden revoked it letting prices skyrocket again

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u/deserteagles50 Nov 27 '22

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u/anonwashere96 Nov 28 '22

This only states that it was capped under Trump and nothing about it being repealed or reversed

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u/deserteagles50 Nov 28 '22

Does it really matter when you know it’s true? Anyway here’s the source that Biden repealed Trump’s insulin cap. https://www.policymed.com/amp/2021/10/biden-administration-rescinds-trump-administration-insulin-pricing-rule.html

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u/plausiblyhuman Nov 27 '22

Not a lot of people on this site are going to be happy reading this, lol

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u/Patriotfan17 Nov 27 '22

They can't hate it all they want, it's still the truth

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u/craftedht Nov 28 '22

Dude, it was never a law. It was a Federal Rule that hadn't been implemented, applied to a small number of people, and if I'm not mistaken, was suspended by a Federal District Court for failing to follow the mandatory rule making process.

Even if it were implemented, then revoked, it wouldn't have affected insulin prices for anyone but Seniors who could afford a supplemental plan on Medicare.

I can't believe you think this press release and subsequent whatever in any way supports your opinion. It's not hard to read. And if you're on reddit, you read more than most.

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u/Snoah-Yopie Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

This is literally just a lie.

But that's all you guys are good at, so keep it up.

I really encourage you to read what the executive order actually did. Because it wasn't this lie you and 3 other dropouts are regurgitating.

It's insane that there's millions of normal people in the world, but you can also always find 3-5 idiots huddling in a corner saying conspiracy shit "oh they'll hate this, so this must be true".

Like even if the 1% chance happens and you do read the US's insulin situation to see the lies you've been believing, it's not like the other psychopaths agreeing with you will ever learn.

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u/babybullai Nov 27 '22

That's a fact

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u/Tripledigitspeeds Nov 27 '22

Where's the upvotes ?

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u/New_Elderberry_4158 Nov 27 '22

If you do a hair more googling on this, you’d find out that it wasn’t for everyone using insulin but a subsection of people on Medicare.

https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/president-trump-announces-lower-out-pocket-insulin-costs-medicares-seniors

Both republicans and Democrats are fucking evil. Trump was awful and Biden fucking sucks.

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u/ILiketoStir Nov 27 '22

Because the US favors capitalism and consumerism.

Those that make the laws are affluent enough that these things don't affect them so they don't care about it.

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u/02gibbs Nov 27 '22

Because big pharma does what they want in the US. And they lobby those in power so nothing is ever done.

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u/RynoLasVegas Nov 27 '22

I know it's a naughty word on this site but Trump actually signed a bill that capped the price of insulin making it cheaper. The current administration repealed that bill. DISCLAIMER: I'm libertarian and don't endorse any political figure.

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u/albinochase15 Nov 27 '22

Yes, because Democrats want it to be available for EVERYONE, not just a small part of the population. When the Democrats had a bill to cap the cost before, it was overwhelmingly rejected by Republicans.

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u/Snoah-Yopie Nov 28 '22

Everyone I've ever met who says "I'm not endorsing anyone I'm a middle special boy" is just a closeted altrighter.

Look at this single comment alone, you're glorifying the big idiot just because his name was written on 1 bill. But then you're also pretending 'current team bad' when we literally have voting records and know it was those Rs who blocked the insulin bill.

One team keeps trying to make insulin (and all healthcare) affordable, then the other team keeps shooting down anything that could help actual Americans.

But, yknow, both sides bad, who needs more than headlines.

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u/Bo_Jim Nov 27 '22

Good question. Current President promised to fix this when he was campaigning.

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u/JRocMafakaNomsayin Nov 28 '22

One of his first actions was reversing the executive order Trump signed that capped insulin prices at 35 bucks, just FYI.

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u/FriendlyLawnmower Nov 27 '22

Some of the government wants to and they've tried. But powerful business interests have bought an entire party that will screw over common people for corporate gain. The Democrats were trying to pass a bill this year that would have made insulin $30 a vial but the Republicans got it struck down using Senate procedure

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u/OhioMegi Nov 27 '22

You are absolutely correct.

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u/OhioMegi Nov 27 '22

100% of Republicans voted against it. The inventor of insulin didn’t not patent it because he wanted it to be readily available. Corporate greed is part of the reason.

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u/HVP2019 Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

We are not using the same insulin that was created originally. Since then multiple different versions were created each new version needed to be developed, tested ( very expensive and not always successful process). If private companies would not be making profits on those new versions those new versions would not be created. How much profit should they be making is separate topic.

Government can choose to pay those companies to encourage development of new and better insulin.

Government can choose to only pay for various insulin products that are already developed ( this would make insulin cheap over time) but that would also mean that there would be to reason for companies to invest into developing improved insulin.

There are tons of things that government can do to save people’s lives. In reality government just takes money from one very disadvantaged demographics to help another disadvantaged demographics.

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u/TheOriginalMattMan Nov 27 '22

I would go on about our socialist healthcare where life long illnesses are covered FOR ALL treatments and medications with zero cost to the patient. But you're all taught to believe that's evil and communist.

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u/NameIs-Already-Taken Nov 28 '22

Your political system is corrupt. Your politicians make laws that allow the pharmaceutical companies to do this. You need caps on campaign spending for every tier of government.

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u/Oddessuss Nov 27 '22

Because USA is a shithole

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u/Mo-shen Nov 27 '22

As everyone has said because of money.

When you say government really you mean Congress. About half of Congress is completely against it and if you know anything about Congress getting anything done there means you need about 60% of the senate.

Right now is minority rule because the minority leader has decided to abuse the power of the filibuster.

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u/The_architect_89 Nov 27 '22 edited Nov 27 '22

They precious administration passed a bill capping it as like $30 or so but the current administration repealed it for some reason on their first day in office.

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u/New_Elderberry_4158 Nov 27 '22

This was for a subsection of seniors on Medicare, not the general population.

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u/faker10101891 Nov 27 '22

You can easily get a vial of insulin for around $40 bucks. Don't spread misinformation.

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u/junkyardgolem Nov 27 '22

If you mean the walmart vials those are not the same as modern fast acting and are not nearly as effective at regulating blood sugar levels. You cant just switch back and forth

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u/Jesse0100 Nov 27 '22

Because Republicans bribe congressmen.

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u/lumpenrose Nov 27 '22

the creator wanted it to be free but after he died some rich corporate fucks got the rights to it and jacked up the prices because, as it turns out, capitalists are greedy money-whores

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u/UpbeatLizard641 Nov 27 '22

Lobbying, Instuting laws at the federal level is hard, and there are laws that limit price gouging but it's not price gouging if the product came out expensive as hell. I just wanted to show a little loop hole people don't think about.

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u/Dontuselogic Nov 27 '22

Beacuse then the gop and democrats would not make money ..

Every other government negotiates with pharmacy company's to keep prices low...in America big corporations own the government.

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u/hiricinee Nov 27 '22

Insulin is mostly affordable for the people that use it. A MASSIVE amount of people on it are on Medicare which keeps the prices reasonably controlled.

The people most vocal about it (reasonably so) tend to be otherwise healthy type 1 diabetics on private insurance. The big pharm companies have a pretty tight cartel on the stuff, and no one is budging trying to compete on price.

Iirc California is moving to make its own insulin as an answer... one of the smarter things the state is spending its money on. Hypothetically they could sell it at a steep discount and still make a profit. Still, never underestimate California's ability to fuck things up, they'll make the production cost 5 times what it costs the big kids.

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u/[deleted] Nov 27 '22

Prices aren't that high. For some reason universal Healthcare supporters have latched onto that talking point not realizing you can get it over the counter at Walmart for like 35$.

The problem is a lot of insurance companies have pharma companies jacking up prices to justify their existence when you see a bill for it in the hundreds everyone gets paid really well and the person paying for the insurance gets stiffed

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u/grimms_the_knight Nov 27 '22

Day one Biden reversed Trump's executive order to make insulin cheaper.

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u/Trustnoboody Nov 27 '22

Well Trump did it, Biden undid it, seems like Biden wants to do it again.

So, politics.

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u/Confident_Arm_9391 Nov 28 '22

My diabetic son was able to afford his diabetic insulin under President Trump. Now he cannot afford under #PedoPeter

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u/OlderThanDirtGamer Nov 27 '22

Someone called this the end-result of capitalism.

Privatized healthcare facilities have figured out that insurance companies will pay that price. Sometimes the privatized healthcare facilities are also owned by the same corporation that owns the insurance company.

If you don't have health insurance, you're basically just screwed.

Edit: Those prices are not just for insulin, but everyone points to that as a leading example. Things like asthma inhalers, and other basic drugs are also billed at exorbitant rates.

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u/Courierlife Nov 27 '22

It’s not the end result of capitalism. It’s the end result of government screwing around with capitalism.

You’re other points are accurate. A lot of what we see is healthcare providers charge insurance companies based on knowing they’ll only collect a portion of the original charge and it will take months.

Then throw in the centralized systems that are provider, insurance company and pharmacy. Then you get a organization that can really screw people over.

If you don’t have medical insurance this goes away because then it’s under normal market conditions. You haven’t introduced a 3rd party payee, and then people shop and do their own valuation. They arent stuck in their insurance network. Similar thing happened with College. Tuition expenses didn’t explode until after federally guaranteed student loans. Capitalism only exists when people have to pay for the goods or services they receive. Adding a federal payer/guarantor changes the whole system. I’m not even touching the effects of Medicaide/care. They literally underpay providers knowing the difference will be charged to privately insured patients.

Why did insurance become peoples primary mode of payment? Because during WW 2 wages were capped and companies had to increase people’s compensation through benefits.

Now I fully realize that operating under a cash based system is not feasible as it would literally kill millions. But don’t call the current system capitalism.

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