Proposed bill to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs

Pa. - Diabetics across the country are rationing insulin because of the high cost. Several people have even died.

There's a proposed bill in the Pennsylvania House though that would put a cap on the monthly cost of insulin to $100 a month for people paying out-of-pocket. Which means a lot of things: people won't have to cut back their doses, they can get the better brands they need, and the most important - fewer deaths across the country.

According to the Health Care Cost Institute, a non-profit research group, in 2016, the average annual cost for a person with type one diabetes was $5,705 - a 600% increase over the last 18 years. Prices for other diabetics supplies have also skyrocketed each year.

"Nobody should have to make a decision on whether or not using a life-sustaining medication," State Representative Jeanne McNeill, of Lehigh County (D), the sponsor of the bill, said. "And if we can make legislation to help stop this then that's what we need to do."

It's a decision Red Lion native Donna Stough, a type two diabetic, has thought about but thankfully never had to do.

"I'm scared to do it," Stough said. "I do know that if I'm late in taking it, I can feel my numbers going up. And that puts a burden on your body. You can feel it. You get dizzy, you get light headed, blurred vision."

She has had to switch to lesser-preferred brands though. A similar bill was passed in Colorado earlier this year.

"My prescriptions are running me 300 dollars a month," Stough said. "For everything. But my insulin is the high ticket one."

This bill hasn't been introduced yet. McNeill is in the process of getting co-sponsors now. It will likely be officially introduced after lawmakers return to session later this month.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.