The House passed a bill on Thursday to cap the price of insulin to $35 a month, which even had the support of 12 House Republicans. But Rep. Matt Gaetz (R–FL) wasn't among them. Not only did the smug congressman vote against making the life-saving drug affordable for the more than 37 million Americans affected by diabetes, he also said, "the price of insulin increases as waistlines increase," and that people with diabetes should just exercise more and lose weight.
From Mother Jones:
In his newsletter Friday, Gaetz told his constituents that he opposed the bill because fat people, not Big Pharma, are responsible for driving up the cost of insulin. He suggested that Type 2 diabetes, which is often linked to obesity, could be cured if only people would workout more and lose weight, at which point they wouldn't need insulin anymore and the drug costs would fall without government intervention. Gaetz wrote:
While Democrat posturing of H.R. 6833 victimizes insulin payees as people with an uncontrollable disease that are being taken advantage of and need Big Brother to throw them a raft, lifestyle changes en masse would expeditiously lower demand and the subsequent prices of insulin. 90-95% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes, which "can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active." Arbitrary price controls are no substitute for individual weight control. Since 2000, the number of diabetes cases in the U.S. has nearly doubled. The demand for insulin has increased and the requisite price increase has followed suit. In other words, the price of insulin increases as waistlines increase.
More than a quarter of Florida residents are obese, including Gaetz's favorite Palm Beach resident, former president Donald Trump. And more than 10 percent of the state's population suffers from diabetes, not all of which is caused by lifestyle factors. Gaetz's attempt to sympathize with then was probably not very convincing. "While I empathize with all Americans suffering from disease and will continue to fight Big Pharma, I voted against H.R. 6833," he wrote. "I will not see a reemergence of FDR price controls and join the Democrats in their attempt to pave the Road to Serfdom."
This is the same Matt Gaetz (thank god there is only one) who in August referred to his colleagues as a "Boomer congress" who were "old, usually obese, and otherwise co-morbid." And then the punchline: "No wonder I don't fit in." (See video below.) With 38% of Florida's adult population struggling with pre-diabetes or diabetes, it looks like Gaetz might also have trouble fitting in come November.
Gaetz in August: