An insensitive comment given Florida's diabetes problem
Floridian Representative Matt Gaetz, was one of 193 House Republicans who in April voted against capping the cost of insulin at $35 per month. He's sadly not in a minority amongst members of the GOP who were against the bill - fortunately for American diabetics who rely upon the critical drug to stay alive, the vote passed with 193 votes in favor.
But what was perhaps most offensive was the response from Gaetz when questioned about his vote - the suggestion that type 2 diabetics should instead lose weight and exercise more.
Drug prices have increased by 500%
The vote to cap how much any American will pay for insulin in a single month to $35 comes at a time when many Americans already find their budgets strained, thanks to inflation. On top of this, some diabetics are reported to be paying over $1000 per month for their insulin.
A study conducted by House Democrats in 2021 suggested that some drugs, including insulin have increased in price to end-consumers by up to 500% in recent years.
All things considered then, it's surprising that any politician might vote against proposals to minimise the cost of drugs as essential as insulin for those that need it. What truly lacks compassion is to suggest that losing weight is a viable option to needing the drug.
Diabetes is an issue for Florida
There's a definite problem of obesity in America, and the CDC estimates that between 2017 and 2018 the rate of rate of obesity increased from 30.5% to 42.4% obesity increased from 30.5% to 42.4% of all Americans who were obese.
Diabetes is also an undeniable problem in the United States. CDC estimates from 2018 suggested that as many as 34.2 million people of all ages—or 10.5% of the US population—had diabetes.
While type 2 diabetes can arise from poor diet and being overweight, not all diabetes is attributable to being too heavy. What's more, only in relatively few cases can diabetes be reversed by diet and exercise alone.
Given the scale of the problem in his home state of Florida where approximately 2,350,321 people, or 13.1% of the adult population have diabetes, it might be expected that Matt Gaetz would be a little more considered in his comments.
Gaetz - a "different kind of Republican"
Unfortunately, Matt Gaetz doesn't seem to be someone who feels inclined to hold back his opinions and in his own words has styled himself as a "different kind of Republican". He often courts controversy and allies himself with the more controversial within the GOP including Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor-Greene. His comments then should come as little surprise.
Regardless of the lack of sensitivity or consideration for diabetics in his state, it's a positive at least that the capped price for insulin was approved in the House.
Do you suffer from diabetes or do you know someone who does? Are you relieved by the capped price or do you agree with comments from Matt Gaetz? Let me know in the comments section below.