Freedom First Society

Issue: H.R. 6833, Continuing Appropriations and Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023.  (Vehicle: Affordable Insulin Now Act) Question:  On Passage of the Bill H.R. 6833, as Amended (3/5 vote required), so Senate GOP (but not House GOP) votes needed for passage.

Result:  Passed in Senate, 72 to 25, 3 not voting.  (Passed by the House the next day, Roll Call 476, 9-30-22).  Became Public Law No. 117-180 (signed by the President, 9-30-22). GOP and Democrats both scored in Senate.

Freedom First Society: Extends unconstitutional Big Bother government for 11 weeks without any momentum to make desperately needed cuts. Sets the stage for an omnibus bill to fuel Big Bother still further, an omnibus that will bury the alarming detail.

We have assigned (good vote) to the Nays and (bad vote) to the Yeas. (P = voted present; ? = not voting; blank = not listed on roll call.)

Bill Summary: In addition to the 11-week Continuing Resolution, H.R. 6833 included the Affordable Insulin vehicle, $12.3 billion for Ukraine military and economic aid, $1.8 billion in emergency funds to care for migrant border-crossers, and $1 billion to help low-income households with winter heating bills.

The measure also extended a variety of programs for the duration of the CR.

CRS Summary for old H.R. 6833 vehicle: 

Shown Here:
Passed House (03/31/2022)

Affordable Insulin Now Act

This bill limits cost-sharing for insulin under private health insurance and the Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Specifically, the bill caps cost-sharing under private health insurance for a month’s supply of selected insulin products at $35 or 25% of a plan’s negotiated price (after any price concessions), whichever is less, beginning in 2023.

The bill caps cost-sharing under the Medicare prescription drug benefit for a month’s supply of covered insulin products at $35 beginning in 2023.

Currently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is testing a voluntary model under the Medicare prescription drug benefit (the Part D Senior Savings Model) in which the copayment for a month’s supply of insulin is capped at $35 through participating plans. The model is set to expire on December 31, 2025.

The bill also (1) further delays implementation of regulations relating to the treatment of certain Medicare prescription drug benefit rebates from drug manufacturers for purposes of federal anti-kickback laws, and (2) increases funding for the Medicare Improvement Fund.

Freedom First Society Analysis:  Proponents of the Continuing Resolution would argue that it’s only 11 weeks to buy more time to finish the full-year appropriation bills.  We would counter that the argument completely ignores the urgency to begin rolling back unconstitutional programs and spending.  It also sets the stage for a massive omnibus spending bill to finish off the appropriations year.

No one should seek to shut down the government, but responsible reps should insist on accompanying plans to return to constitutionally authorized government to get their vote. If enough reps would refuse business as usual there would be enough to begin the rollback that might justify a future CR. But major changes in Congress and pressure from an informed, determined electorate would be necessary for that to happen.

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