Rx: Lauren Underwood’s Lower Insulin Cost Now Act with Discernment

Did Lauren Underwood Take Credit and Fundraise Off of Something She Did Not Do?

Lauren Underwood

Over the weekend, commenter Han Bell posted several comments Saturday and early Sunday concerning H.R. 5444, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood’s “Lower Insulin Costs Now Act”.

Han Bell applied discernment to question the timing of a bill introduced by Underwood, and asked a valid question — is it possible for submitted legislation to make it into the final appropriations bill which House and Senate leaders had working for months, within a span of 6 hours?

According to the Congressional Record, debate on the two omnibus appropriations bills, H.R. 1158 and H.R. 1865, started on midday on Tuesday. So if Underwood’s legislation was in the hopper at the start of business, 9AM EST, would it reasonably be voted on as part of H.R. 1865 which was approved at 2:05PM?

The answer, is “yes”, provided the legislation had been worked on prior to being introduced.

The answer to the first question at the top is “No”

And after working with Underwood’s congressional staff to answer questions, in particular the timing questions and seeing the final draft of H.R. 5444 from her staff that was not available online at congress.gov, using the NFL referee’s saying after video review, “…after further review, the play stands.”

To recap, Underwood’s Twitter ID submitted the following just after Midnight Saturday morning:

Given lower prescription drug prices, especially for insulin is important to everyone, and upon confirmation the language is in place in the appropriations bills approved on Thursday and signed into law, McHenry County Blog did this story. Han Bell’s comments from the weekend can be viewed there.

Later on Saturday, many 14th district constituents and campaign donors received an Underwood email solicitation, similar to this:

Shared by McHenry County Blog commenter Han Bell

The tweet and the email from Saturday were from the political side of Underwood’s organization.

Underwood’s bill, H.R. 5444, cannot be viewed currently on congress.gov, was drafted and submitted on Tuesday, 12/17, as a bill with the House clerk.

After receiving a copy of the text of the legislation from Underwood’s staff which was timestamped 12/16, it was learned Section 607 of the Health and Human Services portion of H.R. 1865 reads word-for-word with H.R. 5444, which received the President’s signature on Friday as part of H.R. 1865.

Before moving to the congressional staff’s communication, it must be pointed out that everyone, the Trump Administration, and both parties in Congress, want to bring the costs of insulin and other prescription drugs down for American consumers.

The previous Congress gave this policy direction in 2018 concerning insulin.

In some of Han Bell’s comments to Saturday’s article, he accurately referred to the well publicized policy change by the Trump Administration through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reclassify insulin as a “biologic” medication, as part of Congress’ policy change going forward.

The FDA published their decision last year, on December 11, and the link is below. The publication is very clear, insulin had been managed and approved as a “drug”, would now be treated like a “biologic”, with advantages to bringing meds, including generics, to the market faster, and through competition, lowering the prices given existing legislation that applies to biologics, but not to drugs.

Back to H.R. 5444, the congressional staff issued a press release on Monday.

Around midday on Monday, one of Underwood’s congressional staff issued the following 3-part tweet, which is transcribed below:

Happy Monday to anyone who pays too much for prescription drugs!

Congresswoman Lauren Underwood’s Lower Insulin Costs Now Act signed into law.

The Lower Insulin Costs Now Act will reduce the cost of insulin by helping lower-cost, generic insulin become available sooner & create access to new treatments that can lower the cost of insulin for those who rely on it to survive.

From Congresswoman Underwood:

“There isn’t a person I won’t work with to lower the cost of prescription drugs, and I’m thrilled my colleagues in Congress and the President supported this advancement toward making lower-cost, generic insulin available more quickly.”

Tweets from Congresswoman Underwood’s congressional staff 12/23/19 12:22PM CST

The above tweets included a linked story in a newspaper of Shaw Media, and it referenced a press release from Congresswoman Underwood. The news release was available to the public by mid afternoon.

Dick Durbin

Here’s where questions/confusion clouded the discernment.

Underwood is not the only member of Congress who had legislation filed on insulin to implement the FDA’s new plan to bring the prices down.

Senator Dick Durbin’s legislation, filed back on July 11 to address insulin pricing, was in the mix.

On July 11, Durbin filed S. 2103, “Affordable Insulin Approvals Now Act”

The bill, similar to Underwood’s H.R. 5444 in concept, extends the policy change by the Trump Administration’s FDA to bring the price of insulin down through the reclassification of insulin as a biologic medication.

The Durbin legislation removes a March 23, 2020 deadline the FDA had to operate under in order to allow for more insulin biologics after March 23, 2020.

While Durbin’s July legislation did not progress on its own, through the Senate’s appropriations process, Durbin’s bill was included in the appropriations negotiations.

But where Durbin’s legislation was a high level concept, it was Underwood’s legislation which fleshed out the details.

According to Underwood’s congressional staff, they verified that H.R. 5444 is identical to what was in the appropriations text that was signed.

The staff added, H.R. 5444 is the same concept as the Durbin bill, but has different effective date, sunset provision, and language that defines how the FDA would list drug applications in the orange book.

Underwood’s legislation was delayed to December because of their additional due diligence working with the FDA to ensure H.R. 5444 will work in real world application.

Put another way, Underwood’s staff did the leg work, but that did not stop Durbin from issuing a press release on Thursday (below) and Friday:

Source: Senator Durbin Congressional Office

Going back to the NFL referee ruling, Durbin would be flagged for a 15 yard penalty with loss-of-down for not citing Underwood’s legislation, let alone her due diligence to implement the concept of his legislation from July.

Durbin hasn’t even acknowledged Underwood’s accomplishment on Twitter.

In a future article, will bring up for discussion the latest interview with Underwood and the Daily Herald where she discusses the next step for H.R. 3 (House passed prescription drug pricing) and cites what part of the Senate version (S. 2543) could/should make progress next year.

External links:


Rx: Lauren Underwood’s Lower Insulin Cost Now Act with Discernment — 26 Comments

  1. That is really a whole lot of nothing.

    Underwood is a fine legislator and you really have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find even bad criticism.

    Find something to do that you are good at Lopez.

  2. Mr. Heinrich, I’m already doing what I am supposed to be doing, so not going anywhere.

    This was a good drill for the primary campaign when it starts up in earnest little over a week.

  3. “Mr. Heinrich, I’m already doing what I am supposed to be doing, so not going anywhere”. Fine journalism is so hard to find nowadays…stay tuned…tic, tock, tic, tock, 315 days, tic, tock, tic, tock, meeeeeeoooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwww…

  4. Give credit where credit is due.

    This was a joint mission in both houses along with the President!

    After all isn’t that how laws become law?

  5. Richie Durbin has voted for more debt than any other IL legislator, maybe the whole USA, it’s close for which Dem does hold that distinction.

  6. Hey fellow liberals, keep in mind how hard it must be to keep a balancing act of posting a lot of trash and garbage, pontificating about christian values, quoting the scripture while convinced it is a matter of time before getting an offer from The Washington Post or New York Times. Feliz Navidad! Stay tuned…315 days…tic, tock, tic, tock, tic, tock, meeeeeeoooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwww…

  7. Fascinating Angel.

    So when are you starting your job at The Washington Post?

  8. Quoting the great sign in the intersection of Rt. 31 and 176, let me do my job. I was chosen by Almighty God to remind the immense readership of this sunshine blog (approximately 14 lonely souls) about the presence of a fraud, cyber-preacher, journalist wannabe who spends 30 hours of his day posting nonsense. Stay tuned…315 days, tic, tock, tic, tock, tic, tock, meeeeeeoooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwww…

  9. Useful idiots for the Democrat Party continue to elect Dick Durbin. THIS guy back in 2005 should have resigned his office after he compared our U.S. Military in Gitmo to Nazis, Soviet gulags and Pol Pot. Many Republicans, and some Democrats, demanded that he at least apologize and he did do that with a quivering voice and tears in his eyes.

  10. Headline: Underwood Take Credit and Fundraise Off of Something She Did Not Do?

    The answer is no, right?

    Or is it yes?

    Did she do it or not do it or do it but not take credit?

    What a mess of a headline and article.

  11. Opinions vary, Oh.

    The fact you read and comment on the writings I’m prompted is proof they are making an impact.

    The question is answered in bold print in the article.

    Now, go have a Merry Christmas.

  12. Oh bred.

    I thought you republicans loved Nazis?

    Very fine people and all that.

  13. And here’s low I.Q. Little Joey Blowhard demonstrating once again
    how he got his moniker by belching forth another one of the many DEMOCRAT lies.

  14. Dear republikkklan friends: Please contribute to the re-election campaign of Honorable Congresswoman and accomplished nurse Lauren Underwood. Just follow the prompt posted here by our psycho cyber preacher and journalist wannabe. Feliz Navidad! Stay tuned…tic, tock, tic, tock, 315 days, tic, tock, tic, tock, meeeeeeoooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwww…

  15. Your question suggests that Underwood did something wrong but then you conclude she didn’t do anything wrong.

    What’s the point of this post?

    It’s not the impact you think.

    Merry Christmas.

  16. I will concede I should have done the set up better in the article.

    But the impact it’s having is more than you know, and will reveal some, here.

    I do plan to write about Underwood’s other bill that was implemented into law last week as part of appropriations, but was going to hold off until after Christmas.

    I posted the first article on Underwood’s insulin bill being signed into law on Saturday, and I wrote it taking what Underwood’s campaign people said at face value in their just after Midnight tweet. Within hours, she had a fundraising email touting the insulin legislation, screen shot in article.

    In comments and email, observations made about did Underwood really get her bill included in the appropriations bill H.R. 1865, or was it something else. Commenter observed accurately, the Underwood bill was introduced the same day the appropriations bill was passed in the House, and text of Underwood’s bill was not included on congress.gov

    Did a due diligence, and the timing questions could not be reconciled.

    Reached out to Underwood’s congressional staff, pointing out the issues.

    And in span of 3 hours, heard back from Underwood’s staff person explaining what had happened twice, and as noted in the article, had the original text of Underwood’s bill that was unavailable online was shared.

    Their staff confirmed word-for-word Underwood’s legislation included in appropriations bill, which had been in work for months.

    I did my own comparison and concurred with the bill’s verbiage sent to me by Underwood staff.

    Other questions, like the Durbin bill was answered too, plus Durbin taking credit where it was Underwood’s people who made sure every detail was included in the legislation that passed House, Senate and signed into law.

    Very impressive work on legislating by Underwood and her people, and far exceeded Durbin’s followup, yet he took credit for it without mentioning Underwood’s legislation, thinking it was his bill included in appropriations.

    Some odd things happened along the way including, why legislation filed a week previous not available for public view, and Underwood’s congressional Twitter account going dark, and someone else had to tweet the Underwood press release from the congressional staff.

    These aren’t coincidences, I easily detect Divine intervention.

    Will explain it more fully in a future article, but what I will say is He wanted me speaking to Underwood’s people.

    In next article(s), will focus on prescription drugs in particular Underwood’s interview last Monday and H.R. 3525 being funded but with a VERY BIG exception.

  17. Don’t concede anything Lopez.

    These fools would trash Mother Theresa, Teddy Roosevelt, Buzz Aldrin or Chas. Lindberg.

    They complain, complain, complain.

  18. Please publish the text provided by Underwood staff.

    Redefining insulin as a biologic is a good thing for the country, by increasing competition in the industry.

    As long as it does not drive the pharmaceutical industry overseas.

    We already get 80% of our Pharmaceuticals from China including 100% of our antibiotics.

    That is a threat to our homeland security.

  19. A good republikkklan journalist wannabe never concedes to anything! Please insist this is the best story ever posted on any sunshine blog on the cyberspace, including the heading. BTW, do you think I waste a second of my day reading your garbage? Conquer your fears; Socialism is almost here. Feliz Navidad! May the lord bless our fine Congresswoman and accomplished nurse, Honorable Lauren Underwood. Stay tuned…tic, tock, tic, tock, tic, tock, 314 days, tic, tock, tic, tock, meeeeeeoooooooowwwwwwwwwwww…


    This is a campaign promise to lower the cost of insulin from the pending applications for generic insulin.

    When there is no drop in insulin price due to approval of pending applications,

    We will know at this was a last-minute publicity stunt!

    And remember, Underwood is responsible for the cost increase of insulin which occurred mainly during her tenure in the Obamacare health department. She did nothing then.

    Underwood’s legislation is a hoax because it only applies to a handful of active insulin applications. None of them will make it to Market in the next year to reduce the price. By then there will be much cheaper biologic insulin available, thanks to the FDA action.

    Those new biologics have nothing to do with Underwood’s legislation.

  21. ** These aren’t coincidences, I easily detect Divine intervention.

    Will explain it more fully in a future article, but what I will say is He wanted me speaking to Underwood’s people.**



    Underwood has been bragging how she is the knight in shining armor to save us from an insulin disaster.

    It turns out that Lauren UNDERWOOD IS THE CULPRIT,
    Who is responsible for this insulin crisis in the first place!

    It is indisputable, that the deadline for the biologic insulin was promulgated by by none other than Lauren Underwood herself!

    The insulin deadline was written into law during Underwood’s tenure in the OBAMACARE health department, where her major responsibility was to oversee promotion of Obamacare!

    So while Underwood pretends to be the insulin hero,

    Here is the evidence, and you can read the proof for yourself:

    “As part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) [10], also known as ‘Obama Care’, Title VII is the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA).

    “In BPCIA the insulins, along with a number of other products, will be ‘deemed’ to be biologics [11, 12]. That is, after 23 March 2020 all insulins will be licensed under the PHSA rather than under the FFDCA [11, 13] (see Fig. 1). ”

  23. Great job Lauren!!! You’re the best Congressperson we’ve ever had. {Not much of a compliment considering Hultgren and Crane)

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