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With inflation high and many Americans concerned about COVID-19, a Democratic congressional candidate in North Carolina says a Republican incumbent isn’t doing enough to ease the burden of medical costs.
State Sen. Ben Clark, D-Hoke, is running in the state’s newly-drawn 9th Congressional District, where he’ll face Republican U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson if both win their primaries. The district, which leans Republican, is located in south-central North Carolina near Fayetteville.
On April 1, Clark’s campaign emailed supporters slamming Hudson for how he voted the day before. The email said: "Yesterday, the House voted to cap insulin prices to $35/month, just $420 each year! Richard Hudson voted NO."
Clark’s campaign also tweeted about Hudson, posting that he "voted no to lowering the cost of insulin for every family in the 9th Congressional District."
What legislation was Clark talking about? And did Hudson really vote against lowering insulin costs? A review of the record shows Clark got this wrong.
The U.S. House of Representatives on March 31 voted on H.R.6833, known as the Affordable Insulin Now Act, which would cap insulin co-payments for insured Americans at $35 a month.It would help some Americans save hundreds of dollars annually and offer all insured patients more predictable insulin costs, but wouldn’t help the uninsured, the Associated Press reported.
The Democrat-led bill passed 232-193 with the help of 12 Republicans — and congressional records show Hudson was one of them.
PolitiFact NC reached out to Clark’s campaign shortly after it published the email and tweet about Hudson’s vote. The campaign, which deleted its tweet about Hudson, defended its accusations. As far as we know, the Clark campaign hasn’t issued a correction to its email.
"We are aware that last night Richard Hudson changed his vote on capping the cost of insulin to $35/month after voting against this and other bills to reduce the cost of prescription drugs numerous times," the campaign said. "After being consistently rated as one of the most conservative Republicans in the House, no one is fooled by his recent shift to the center."
We asked the campaign what it meant when it said Hudson changed his vote, but didn’t receive a response.
Hudson’s office said the congressman’s March 31 vote is in line with other efforts to reduce insulin prices. Jordan Shaw, one of Hudson’s advisors, said Hudson co-sponsored the Lower Costs, More Cures Act of 2019, or H.R. 19, which would have capped the cost of insulin for some Medicare customers.
"Congressman Hudson was proud to vote to cap out-of-pocket costs for seniors on insulin, and has long advocated for caps on prescription drug costs like those in HR 19. He didn’t change his vote," Shaw said.
Clark said: "Yesterday, the House voted to cap insulin prices to $35/month, just $420 each year! Richard Hudson voted NO."
The congressional record and multiple media reports show Hudson voted yes.
We rate Clark’s claim False.
Email from the Clark for Congress campaign, "Richard Hudson Votes NO to Lower Drug Prices," sent on April 1, 2022.
Tweet by the Clark for Congress Twitter account on April 1, 2022.
Email exchange with the Clark for Congress communications team on April 1, 2022.
Email exchange with Greg Steele, spokesman for U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC).
Story by NBC News, "House passes bill to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs," posted March 31, 2022.
Story by the New York Times, "House passes bill to limit cost of insulin to $35 a month," posted March 31, 2022.
Story by the Associated Press and posted by WRAL.com, "House passes $35-a-month insulin cap as Dems seek wider bill," posted April 1, 2022.
Story by Business Insider, "Here are the 12 House Republicans that voted for a key piece of Biden's stalled economic agenda on prescription drugs," posted March 31, 2022.
Story by the (U.K.) Daily Mail, "House PASSES bill to cap the cost of insulin at $35 a month," posted April 1, 2022.
Story by the (U.K.) Independent and posted on Yahoo! News, "Most House Republicans vote against lowering the price of insulin," posted April 1, 2022.
Voting record for the Affordable Insulin Now Act, also known as H.R. 6833, on the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives website.
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