LEGISLATION Insulin legislation aims to cap uctuating prices nationwide
2022 HEALTH CARE EDITION
A rising disease The percentage of people with diabetes in Harris and Montgomery counties has risen overall from the percentage in those counties 10 years ago.
Harris County Montgomery County
BY SIERRA ROZEN
email. None of this legislation covers those who are uninsured. Stephen Habbe, vice president of state government aairs for the non- prot American Diabetes Association, said via email rising insulin costs have become more of a problem. “Accessibility to insulin due to aordability has been a major prob- lem for millions of Americans, and the pandemic has exacerbated that problem,” he said. One of the three bills being debated in Congress is House Resolution 6833, better known as the Aordable Insulin Now Act, which would cap insulin prices at either $35 a month or 25% of a private insurance plan’s price—whichever is cheaper—and $35 for those with Medicare. The House of Representatives passed the resolution March 31, and it was received by the Senate on April 4. Additionally, U.S. Sen. Raphael
Members of Congress have proposed three bills this year that aim to reduce the cost of insulin to consumers. Insulin is used to treat diabetes, a chronic health condition that changes how the body turns food into energy. In 2018, 12% of Texans age 18 and older had diabetes, according to the most recent state data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These three bills dier from legisla- tion Gov. Greg Abbott signed in June 2021 that limits copays for a 30-day supply of insulin at $25 for Texans on state-regulated health plans. Texas’ existing legislation does not oer the cap to individuals who are uninsured or those not on state-regu- lated health plans such as Medicaid; however, the new bills would provide a price cap on copays for those with private health insurance or Medicare, U.S. Rep. Al Green, DHouston, said via
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SOURCE: CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
Warnock, DGeorgia, introduced companion legislation to the Senate on Feb. 17, Green said. In an eort to compromise on the issue, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, RMaine, and U.S. Sen. Jeanne Sha- heen, DNew Hampshire, introduced a bipartisan policy April 11, per an April 11 news release by Collins’ oce. The policy is still receiving input in the Senate but would encourage
insulin manufacturers to reduce the suggested retail price by ensuring insurance plans cannot collect rebates, which drive up drug costs. “People with diabetes should be able to get the medication they need without having to choose between lling their prescription, paying rent or putting food on the table,” Habbe said. Kelly Schaer contributed to this report.
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THE WOODLANDS EDITION • JUNE 2022
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