EXCLUSIVE: The White House said Wednesday that pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly’s move to cap out-of-pocket costs for insulin at $35 for patients is 'the ultimate proof point' for why Republicans should stop trying to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act.
Eli Lilly announced the move to cap costs for patients Wednesday and said it is effective immediately, following the enactment of the legislation, which caps the out-of-pocket costs for patients enrolled in Medicare at $35 per monthly insulin prescription.
The company is also pledging to cut the price of its most commonly prescribed insulin by 70%.
'Today’s breakthrough for American families is the ultimate proof point for why Republicans need to stop seeking repeal of the Inflation Reduction Act,' White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told Fox News Digital on Wednesday afternoon.
'In light of this news, will they now commit to not repealing the Inflation Reduction Act?' Bates asked of Republicans.
'President Biden’s plan to build an economy that works from the bottom up and the middle out is delivering relief in real-time from crushingly high drug prices,' he continued. 'But congressional Republicans want to reverse this progress so that rich special interests can gain a windfall at the expense of everyone else.'
Pointing to Eli Lilly’s move, Bates said that 'even drug manufacturers are going further than congressional Republicans are with respect to lower insulin costs.'
'What the GOP needs to reverse is their support for higher drug costs and the biggest cut to Medicare benefits in decades,' Bates said. 'Why would you stand in the way of more announcements that put life-saving medicines in reach of families?'
The White House is referring to new GOP-sponsored legislation rolled out in the House last month by Rep. Andy Ogles of Tennessee, which would repeal the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.
'Last Congress, President Biden and his House Democrat colleagues shoved through countless spending measures to further their woke 'green agenda,' including the 'Inflation Reduction Act,'' said Ogles. 'Instead of creating any positive change for Americans facing record-breaking economic challenges, Leftists opted to increase federal spending and the deficit — by at least $110 billion dollars through 2031 — in order to advance their personal political agendas.'
Ogles' office said his bill would 'repeal these outrageous spending measures and put the money back where it belongs — in the pockets of hardworking taxpayers.'
Multiple analyses determined last year that the Inflation Reduction Act was not expected to reduce inflation. The Congressional Budget Office said the bill will have 'a negligible effect' on inflation in 2022, and in 2023 its impact would range between reducing inflation by 0.1% and increasing it by 0.1%, despite language in the bill capping some prescription drugs.
The White House was also referring to the fact that Republicans voted against the bill last Congress, and some, during the midterm election cycle, said they would work to repeal the legislation should they win the majority in the House.
But a senior Senate GOP aide told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that 'Democrats will continue to use anything to try to distract Americans suffering through record inflation.'
And despite the White House touting the Inflation Reduction Act and the president's economic policy, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been pointing to the persistent inflation facing Americans.
'The Democrats’ inflation is not just driving up the prices for groceries and essentials that families pay themselves at the checkout counter; it’s also baked into the costs families pay indirectly through service providers from plumbers to contractors to medical providers and beyond,' McConnell, R-Ky., said this week. 'In every corner of the economy, workers and businesses are still having to hunker down against the ongoing consequences of Democrats’ reckless mistakes.'
'What an odd time, then, for the Biden Administration to declare victory over a problem it helped create,' he added. 'The White House press secretary declared earlier this month that ‘The President’s economic plan is indeed working.’'
Inflation rose 6.4% in January. The Labor Department reported that the Consumer Price Index, a broad measure of the price of everyday goods that includes gasoline, groceries and rents, rose 0.5% on the month in January after a surprise decline of 0.1% in December.
Inflation is still running above 6% or higher, but that's down from the 9.1% seen in June, which marked the highest inflation rate in almost 41 years.
As for the White House's claim that GOP lawmakers are seeking to cut Medicare benefits, both McConnell and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have repeatedly said sunsetting Social Security and Medicare is not on the table for congressional Republicans.