Gavin Newson takes heat from Democrats for vetoing insulin price cap

October 9, 2023

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom made headlines this weekend when he vetoed a bill that would have capped the amount insurance companies can charge for insulin.

The move left members of Newsom's own party furious, with some even suggesting that it will cause people to go hungry. 

Bill would have capped cost of 30-day insulin supply at $35

According to the Associated Press, the legislation aimed to prevent health plans and disability insurance from charging more $35 worth of out-of-pocket expenses for a 30-day supply of insulin.

However, Newson argued in a statement released on Saturday that the bill was unneeded as the state entered into a $50 million contract with the nonprofit pharmaceutical company Civica Rx earlier this year to produce discount insulin known as CalRx.

The Associated Press reported in March that the 10-year partnership's goal is to make 10- milliliter vials of insulin available for $30.

Newsom insulin partnership deal

"With CalRx, we are getting at the underlying cost, which is the true sustainable solution to high-cost pharmaceuticals," Newsom was quoted as saying.

"With copay caps however, the long-term costs are still passed down to consumers through higher premiums from health plans," he added.

Those words weren't well received by the bill's author, Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener, who complained about the governor's decision on Saturday.

Bill's author says Californians must choose "between buying insulin and buying food"

The Associated Press quoted a statement in which Wiener called Newsom's veto "a major setback that will keep tens of thousands of diabetic Californians trapped in the terrible choice between buying insulin and buying food.”

"This is a missed opportunity that will force them to wait months or years for relief from the skyrocketing costs of medical care when they could have had it immediately," the San Francisco-area lawmaker added.

Meanwhile, Newsom received additional criticism from Democrats for also vetoing a bill that would have required insurance companies to cover hearing aids for those under 21.






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