From Rep. Scott Ourth’s (D-Warren) newsletter:
My House colleagues took a huge step this week toward providing relief for persons living with diabetes and their families. Legislation designed to cap prescription insulin costs at $100 has passed the House Human Resources Committee unanimously, and will now move to the House floor. Currently, insulin prices for those who are insured vary, but some brands have reached up to $300 or more for one vial (or enough for roughly one month). The cost of insulin has continually increased over the last decade; the retail prices of common insulin types have almost tripled from 10 years ago. One patient who spoke at the subcommittee hearing, testified that they paid $20 out-of-pocket in 1997 per vial, and now they have to pay $294 for the exact same medication.
Though this bill is a good start, more work needs to be done to make sure people can afford this life-sustaining medication. House File 2138 only caps prescription costs for those people with health insurance. This means that many people will still need to decide if they will buy insulin, pay their mortgage, or put food on the table for their families. Not taking insulin or insulin-rationing is a life-or-death situation that can be avoided by keeping the cost low for everyone.
The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.