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Will County members of Congress back bill to cap cost of insulin

Democratic members of Congress representing Will County voted for legislation aimed at lowering the cost of insulin, which is used to treat diabetes.

The Affordable Insulin Now Act would ensure that patients pay no more than $35 for a monthly supply of insulin, according to a news release. It would limit private health insurance plans to $35 or 25% of a plan’s negotiated price, whichever is lower.

The bill passed the House with support from U.S. Reps. Bill Foster, Marie Newman and Lauren Underwood.

“It’s beyond time we get control of the outrageous insulin prices that are threatening the health and financial security of millions of Americans,” Foster, D-Naperville, said in a statement. “Capping the cost of lifesaving insulin at $35 each month will immediately cut costs for hard working families in Illinois.”

The members cited data showing significant increases in the cost of the life-saving medicine, including a rise of 54% between 2014 and 2019, according to GoodRx research.

Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the CDC. About 34.2 million people, or 10.5% of the U.S. population, had diabetes in 2018.

Americans pay, on average, $98.70 for a unit of insulin, which is 10 times higher than the price in other wealthy nations.

“I’ve heard from so many families in my community about the difficult decisions they have to make to afford their insulin,” Underwood, D-Naperville, said in a statement. “No person should have to choose between life-saving medication and feeding their family.”

The bill would require private health plans to cover at least one of each type and dosage form of insulin, according to Underwood’s office. It would also require all Medicare prescription drug plans to cap cost-sharing for insulin at no more than $35.

“Today, Democrats in the House lived up to their promise by passing legislation that will lower health care costs for millions of families across the United States,” Newman, D-La Grange, said in a statement.

The bill still requires Senate approval and the president’s signature to become law.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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