POMPANO BEACH — A young man from Florida turned to Twitter to express his outrage towards President Joe Biden, who moved to freeze an executive order on January 20, sending up the price of insulin to US$2,000 a month.
The executive order signed by former President Donald Trump had kept the costs for insulin and epinephrine lower for low-income, medically underserved patients.
“My insulin, my pump supplies — the things I need to live — are costing $2,000 amonth,” the man, named Randy, said in a viral post captioned #BidenRemorse. Randy is seen sitting in his car, visibly distressed, as he filmed the video.
Randy said he “can’t afford to live” after insulin prices inflate dramatically (PHOTO: Courtesy of @Roger_Smith_911 on Twitter)
In the tweet, Randy, 24, said that he graduated from college shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic erupted. He is one of many members of “Generation COVID,” entering the job market amid a pandemic-induced economic recession.
Randy feared he would not be able to afford the cost of insulin after it had abruptly skyrocketed following the rule suspension.
“I am not making any good money,” he said. “How am I supposed to pay $2,000 for something I didn’t do anything to get?”
“I can’t afford to live,” Randy said.
While outlets like the National File had erroneously reported that the Biden administration “rescinded” Trump’s executive order, it had, in fact, enforced a regulatory freeze to give the new government the “opportunity to review any new or pending rules,” according to the White House memorandum released on Inauguration Day.
January 20 White House press release of regulatory freeze (PHOTO: Courtesy of The White House)
In July 2020, Trump had signed four executive orders to regulate the prices of prescription drugs, USA Today reported.
Federally qualified health centres (FQHC) can purchase insulin and epinephrine through a 340B drug program at discounted prices. According to USA Today, one of the executive orders required such facilities to pass along any savings to low-income patients.
The rule would also prevent FQHCs from receiving federal grants unless the sale price for insulin and EpiPens do not exceed the acquisition cost and a modest administration fee.
Trump signed an executive order in July 2020 that would have reduced insulin and epinephrine prices for medically underserved communities (PHOTO: Courtesy of Mykenzie Johnson/Unsplash)
This order would have made the prescription drugs for diabetics more accessible to Americans, the US Department of Health and Human Services said at the time.
The freeze on the insulin and epinephrine rule is effective until March 22, USA Today reported.
Within the first week of his inauguration, Biden had signed 21 executive orders, a number that has since reached 31, according to the Federal Register. One such document is an Affordable Health Care order, which will enable over 100 million Americans to be treated equally and not incur charges from insurance companies for preexisting conditions.
“Some of the executive actions I am going to sign today are going to help change the course of the COVID crisis,” he said. “And we’re going to combat climate change in a way that we haven’t done so far and advance racial equity to support other underserved communities.”
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