Biden stopped Trump’s insulin order for some health centers

A claim that Biden stopped an executive order from Trump to cut insulin costs is true, but that order would have only helped low-income patients at certain clinics.

Millions of Americans have diabetes and need insulin to survive, but it can cost more than some can afford. The American Diabetes Association estimates that a quarter of people with diabetes have had to ration their insulin at some point, which is dangerous and can even be fatal.

In an effort to reduce the cost of insulin, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill — yet to be voted on by the Senate — that would cap insurance co-payment for insulin at $35 a month. However, as VERIFY previously reported, the bill would not help everyone who needs insulin, such as those without health insurance.

In response to this report, many VERIFY viewers told us they heard that President Donald Trump signed an executive order to lower the price of insulin, but President Joe Biden stopped him after he took office. function.


Did President Biden stop an executive order issued by President Trump that was meant to make insulin more affordable?



Yes, the Biden administration stopped an executive order issued by President Trump that sought to make insulin more affordable, but the executive order would have only helped low-income patients at certain clinics.


On July 24, 2020, President Trump signed Executive Order 13937. The stated goal was to make insulin and EpiPens more affordable.

There’s some debate about what kind of impact it would have had, but there’s no way to know for sure as it never came into effect. Here’s why.

Executive orders generally do not take effect immediately. The relevant federal departments must first write a plan to carry them out, called a rule. Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services finalized an insulin rule on December 23, 2020 and timed it to go into effect on January 22, 2021.

But President Biden took office on January 20. His administration froze the rule — and several others that were still pending — so his administration could review it before letting it go into effect. This is common practice when a new president takes office.

After a months-long review process, the Biden administration decided to rescind the rule, preventing it from taking effect.

As for the claim that Trump’s order lowered insulin prices, that’s true, but only for low-income patients at federally qualified health centers.

FQHCs are community clinics that receive government funding to help vulnerable populations. They are entitled to government-negotiated discounts on certain medications, including insulin.

Trump’s order would have prevented FQHCs from charging patients in certain income brackets — those earning less than 350% of the federal poverty level — more for insulin than the discounted price paid by the clinic, plus small fees administrative.

But only about 1 in 11 Americans use FQHCs, according to the US Bureau of Primary Care, the agency that oversees them. In turn, only a fraction of these patients use insulin, and only a fraction of them fall below the income threshold to qualify for the proposed discount. So Trump’s order would not have made insulin cheaper for most Americans.

There was also a pushback from clinics that would have been implicated under this rule. The National Association of Community Health Centers called the order well-intentioned, but said it was not the right solution because the bureaucracy that would have been created by tracking which patients are eligible for the reduction would be so costly and take so long that it would be more difficult for the clinics to do their job.

The Biden administration cited concerns that health center challenges would negate the cost benefits for their patients as the reason for preventing the order from taking effect.

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Maria J. Book