July 11, 2023

Manchin Questions Health Expert on Cost of Insulin, Causes of Type 1 Diabetes

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, welcomed two children with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) who testified before the Committee as a part of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) 2023 Children’s Congress Delegates as well as the reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP).

Senator Manchin also questioned the Director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Griffin Rodgers on the high cost of insulin and the importance of funding The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY), which is a longitudinal study examining the environmental causes of T1D.

On welcoming T1D patients and their families

“To the people sitting here today, you are the hope of America,” the Senator said in part. “You have united Congress, you made us all understand. It's not about politics. It is about each individual having the opportunity for quality of life. That's why you're here. That's what you're accomplishing today. And I hope that you understand the effort to come here today makes a big difference in what we do and how we do our job.

On the cost of Insulin

“We had a piece of legislation called the Inflation Reduction Act, which put a cap at $35. We tried to cap insulin for everybody, and no one would ever pay more than $35. And we are achieving it a little bit at a time. We got Medicare to reduce the price first, and now we got some companies that were shamed into knowing that they're making excessive profits to come down to $35. We are still working to make sure that we have a piece of legislation that does it,” Senator Manchin continued.

On the importance of TEDDY study

In my state of West Virginia, we have the highest rate of adults with diabetes, around 16%, along with one of the highest rates of type 1 diabetes in the nation. Can you tell me how this program affects families, what we can do to support it, and how it is working?” Senator Manchin questioned. 

Earlier this year, Senator Manchin sent a letter to Senate leadership, urging them to reauthorize the Special Diabetes Program (SDP), which is set to expire on September 30th, 2023. For more than 25 years, the SDP has delivered meaningful resources and research breakthroughs for the 37 million Americans with diabetes and 96 million with prediabetes. 

An Inflation Reduction Act healthcare benefits fact sheet can be found here.

A video of Senator Manchin’s questioning of the witnesses can be found here.