A bill aims to cap out of pocket costs for insulin
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Many people find it hard to keep up with the rising costs of medication even with insurance. Those with diabetes that require insulin can pay thousands of dollars a year for it.
Senator Tammy Baldwin is standing behind a bill working its way through congress that could lower the cost of insulin that people rely on to live.
“In the United States, we pay often two to three times as much as people elsewhere in the world for prescription drugs,” Baldwin said.
Along with over two dozen other senators across the nation, Baldwin is co-sponsoring the Affordable Insulin Now Act.
“This bill would make it so that nobody has to pay more than $35 per month out of pocket for needed insulin,” Baldwin said.
People with certain types of diabetes require insulin every day. Baldwin says with rising costs, it’s getting more and more expensive to buy this life-saving drug.
“It’s not uncommon for me to hear that people are spending hundreds of dollars per month and totaling $5,000 to $6,000 a year just to maintain their health and buy insulin,” Baldwin said.
Fanicia Bautch has type1 diabetes and needs to take insulin.
“There’s a long-acting and short-acting and for just one kind of it, it was like $200 to $300 for a month’s worth supply,” Bautch said. “Which if you don’t have a job or insurance, it’s really hard to do,” Bautch said.
Bautch says she’s seen first hand the rise in insulin costs.
“But even just my deductible has been going up,” Bautch said. “So like it used to be like $30 for a month and now it’s $75.”
Courtney Scott is the mom of a 10-year-old who also has type 1 diabetes and needs insulin.
“He is also on a pump and so that part of it too is an extra huge expense with the pump supplies and Dexcom,” Scott said.
If passed, Scott says it could lift some of the financial strain.
“It would be a huge relief,” Scott said. “It would be a game-changer, really. I mean that.”
Baldwin says this bill could open doors to making more medications available and affordable.
“It is a first step to get the price of prescription drugs into, you know, under control for those of us in the US,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin says the Affordable Insulin Now Act has been introduced and referred to the committee for consideration. She hopes the bill be able to be brought up for debate this month.
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