Kansas proposes legislation to cap insulin costs

Proposal would place cap at $100

CHANUTE & PITTSBURG, Kan. – Kansas could be joining two other states capping insulin costs for diabetic patients.

The bill being proposed in Kansas would have the state joining Illinois and Colorado who already have insulin cost caps in place.
Paul Hughes lives in Stark, Kansas. He was making his rare trip to town and we caught up with him at Pete’s in Chanute. “Whenever you don’t make but so much a month it’s hard to, on disability you can’t go out and work nowhere, it’s just hard to make ends meet.”

For Hughes, having diabetes slows him down. “There are times you don’t even want to get up you say, what’s going to happen today, what’s this sugar going today, what’s the blood sugar levels going to do.”

Those health affects and cost affects are seen first hand by Dr. Laurie Graham, the owner of Lindburg Pharmacy North in Pittsburg. “I can give you an example, had a lady just diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and with the insulin that she needed, she doesn’t have any insurance, it was going to be over $1,000 for a one month supply for what she needed for her and her soon to be born baby.”

And she knows those situations can be dangerous, and potentially deadly. “Insulin can be a life or death situation and often times I wonder how many times you know, people who can’t afford their insulin, they could easily end up in the emergency room.”

And Paul knows that first hand, when he needed to refill his insulin, just months ago. “Couldn’t afford it, that’s just it, and I spent some time in the hospital.”

Dr. Graham says she’s hopeful the bill will pass, because she knows it can make a difference. “Uninsured, it would definitely help, I mean it would bring insulin from $400 and $500 down to $100, I still don’t know that that’s affordable for a lot of people, but it will help.”

For Paul, he says he just keeps hanging in there. “You just gotta keep thinking that the lord is going to help you get through this, and that’s all there is, you pray he takes care of you as much as he can.”

A hearing was held on that bill in Kansas yesterday at the Capitol.