Democrats take insulin prices to the airwaves in Nevada

Senate Majority PAC launches $1.9 million buy targeting Laxalt

An ad from a Democratic super PAC highights Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto's support for a bill that caps the price Medicare patients pay for insulin.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
An ad from a Democratic super PAC highights Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto's support for a bill that caps the price Medicare patients pay for insulin. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted August 16, 2022 at 9:30am

A top Democratic political action committee launched new campaign ads Tuesday about the ongoing effort to reduce out-of-pocket costs for insulin.

The ads by Senate Majority PAC, which is aligned with the Senate Democratic leadership, take aim at Nevada Republican Adam Laxalt, the former state attorney general challenging Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in one of the country's key contests. Details about the $1.9 million buy were shared first with CQ Roll Call.

The spot highlights legislation backed by the incumbent senator designed to cap the cost of insulin paid by patients at $35 per month.

"Cortez Masto co-sponsored a bill capping insulin costs," the ad says. "Adam Laxalt called a plan that caps costs ‘reckless.’"

The ad was referring to Laxalt's stated opposition to a larger health, energy and tax bill that the Senate passed Aug. 7 and President Joe Biden is set to sign into law Tuesday. Among its many provisions, the bill includes the $35 cap on the out-of-pocket insulin costs, but only for Medicare beneficiaries.

Seven Republican senators backed an effort to retain broader language applying the insulin cost-sharing requirements to diabetics with private insurance as well, but that effort came up short of the 60 votes needed to include the language in the bill.

“While Senator Cortez Masto is on the front lines of the fight to lower prescription drug costs, Adam Laxalt has been standing in the way and lining his pockets with investments in pharmaceutical companies as working families pay the price,” said JB Poersch, president of Senate Majority PAC. “Our ad reminds voters of the truth: Adam Laxalt puts Big Pharma first over the hundreds of thousands of Nevadans who rely on life-saving medications like insulin."

The ad is one of several Democratic-aligned groups have already launched specifically related to the insulin provisions, with Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., pledging to try again to bring up stand-alone legislation.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee launched a five-figure digital effort Monday targeting Republican Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Marco Rubio of Florida in what seemed to be a preview of broader efforts heading toward fall.

Rubio, in a Washington Times opinion piece, responded to the criticism of his vote against waiving the budget rules to allow a provision favored by Democrats regarding insulin prices for those covered by private insurance. Rubio said that vote came after a Republican-sponsored measure he preferred was defeated by Democrats.

"Republicans blocked a Democrat counter-amendment, all right, but in doing so they ensured that insulin will become more affordable, not less," Rubio wrote.