June 9, 2024

Trump counters Biden claim of credit for lower insulin costs

As the 2024 campaign heats up, the cost of insulin has become one of President Joe Biden's favorite talking points.

However, Biden's presumed November opponent, former President Donald Trump, has taken issue with the commander in chief's characterization of who should be praised for a cap on prices for the life-saving product, as CNBC reports.

Biden's claims contested by Trump

As the Associated Press reports, Biden routinely takes credit for what he describes as a $35 price cap on insulin for Americans receiving Medicare, using the concept as a cornerstone of his campaign messaging.

Trump, however, recently revealed that he has something of a bone to pick with Biden when it comes to who is responsible for a reduction in the price paid by American insulin customers.

Taking to Truth Social on Saturday, the former president and presumptive GOP nominee claimed responsibility for the improvement, writing, “Low INSULIN PRICING was gotten for millions of Americans by me, and the Trump administration, not by Crooked Joe Biden. He had NOTHING to do with it.”

“It was all done long before he so sadly entered office,” Trump continued in reference to his successor in the White House.

Trump's lament went on, and he said of Biden, “All he does it try to take credit for things done by others, in this case, ME!”

Complex scenario

Though Biden does his best to claim the mantle of insulin cost reducer in chief, even the AP noted that the reality of the situation is far more complex than he makes it seem. According to the outlet, the president “often overstates what those people who are eligible for the price cap once paid for insulin.”

Drew Altman, president of a nonprofit organization dedicated to researching health care issues in the United States, suggested, “It is about political signaling in a campaign much more than it is about demonstrating for people that they benefit from the insulin cap.”

“It is a way to make concrete the fact that you are the health care candidate,” Altman opined.

Revisionist history?

Lending credence to Trump's claim of having had a far more significant role regarding insulin costs than Biden is a White House fact sheet from May of 2020, which spelled out then-President Trump's strategy on the topic.

The communication stated that under Trump's leadership, “many Medicare Part D plans and Medicare Advantage plans have applied to offer lower out-of-pocket insulin costs to seniors for the 2021 plan year.”

“Across the Nation, participating enhanced Part D plans will provide many seniors with Medicare access to a broad set of insulins at a maximum $35 copay for a month's supply of each type of insulin,” the fact sheet went on.

Whether insulin costs, now or then, are a game-changing issue for the coming election is very much an open question, but the entire debate serves to illustrate Biden's characteristic willingness to distort not just his opponent's record for perceived political advantage, but also his own.

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