Illinois looks to cap Insulin prices

Per Jaime Monks of the Chicago Tribune, Illinois governor J.B Prizker and a group of other democratic lawmakers in congress are looking to cap Insulin prices for Diabete patients at $100 out of pocket for a 30 day supply. An estimated 12% of the states population suffer from Diabetes and may have to pay up to $289 in out of pocket costs for their 30 day supply of Insulin according to Pritzker. The governor reasons that people struggling to make a living shouldn’t have to pay an extreme fee for something they literally need to have to live. It is ridiculous that you have to pay any fee in the first place for an essential medicine but that’s inescapable when Insulin is out on the free market where companies selling it are trying to profit. Either way, close to $300 and sometimes $400 a month is a particularly tough pill to swallow for struggling people or anyone frankly. As the article delves into, these prices force people to have to make hard choices between other basic needs and insulin that they need to survive. Buying a month supply of insulin every month of the year as it stands equals out to a range of $3600-4800 a year which is shameful to require of someone. According to Monks, in the years 2012 through 2016, the price per unit of Insulin increased from 13 cents to 25 cents. One of the sponsors for the bill, Democratic Senator Andy Manar lamented, “It’s out of whack today. When constituents call and say ‘I can’t afford to keep my daughter alive and own a home,’ or ‘I can’t afford to keep my son alive and buy groceries to put in his lunchbox,’ then something has to change,” Manar said. “That’s not the American way. The American way isn’t to kill people or to force a system that results in people dying in order to make money.” Ideally the American way wouldn’t be letting people die for profit, but whether that is or has been the american way in reality and action is highly debatable. Either way, Manar is right that financially exploiting diabetes patients is an unambiguously bad thing. Colorado became the first state to cap out of pocet costs for diabetes earlier in the year, and Illinois is trying to follow in their footsteps. Unsurprisingly Pharmacies and Insurance companies are against it and sent notices in opposition of the proposal. This includes “Pharmaceutical companies Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi, as well as BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois, the Illinois Insurance Association and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association.” There’s not really a mystery why they would oppose it, the fact is that it hurts their profit margins if they provide cheaper potentially life giving medicine to people who desperately need it. But it shouldn’t be controversial to weigh people’s health needs more than a company’s bottom line. Democratic representative Stephanie Kifowat bluntly put the matter into perspective. “It’s embarrassing that we have to have this discussion in our country about prices on pharmaceuticals that people need to live.” The only supporters so far have been democrats but bipartisan support on the proposal feels possible according to sponsors of the bill.

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