Over two dozen Iowans, many who rely on insulin to control their diabetes, gathered at the state capitol today to call for swift passage of House Files 262 and 263 to make insulin more affordable and accessible.
House File 262 would allow insulin users to obtain a one-month supply of insulin in a given year from a pharmacist without prescriber authorization in emergency situations. House File 263 would cap out-of-pocket costs at no more than $100 a month for a 31-day supply of any type of prescription insulin drug covered by certain state regulated healthcare plans. Both bills are currently stalled in the Senate Human Resources Committee despite passing the House last year with broad bipartisan support.
“I’ve been using insulin for over 20 years of my life and I’ve met hundreds of insulin users throughout my life and work,” said Bri Moss, Iowa CCI Board member from Dubuque who attended the event. “The stories I hear from so many people share a simple, common thread – we all too often have to either ration insulin, or when we need it in an emergency are prevented from getting it.”
The event kicked off with a press conference in the ground floor of the state capitol where insulin users shared their stories. They were joined by State Representative Steven Bradley (R – Cascade), sponsor of House File 262 who said no one should have a copay for insulin, and State Senator Sarah Trone Garriott (D – Windsor Heights), who sits on the Senate Human Resources Committee.
Following the press conference, attendees gathered outside of a Senate Human Resources Committee meeting to speak with Committee Chair Sen. Jeff Edler (R – State Center), who can move these bills forward at any time. After two minutes, Sen. Edler stormed away from the group without answering Jane Alderman, Type 1 diabetic CCI Action member from Ankeny, who asked what the timeline for consideration of these bills would be, despite them being in his committee for nearly a year.
“It’s shameful Senator Edler walked away from us, and wouldn’t hear the stories of constituents like me about why we need common-sense insulin reform now,” said Larry Ginter, CCI Action member from Rhodes. “Why is Senator Edler the Chair of the Human Resources Committee if he’s going to slam the door in the face of diabetics and not move this bipartisan legislation forward?”
Those in attendance vowed to keep up the fight for insulin reform despite the actions of Senator Edler, noting that Republicans and Democrats alike need access to insulin and want action now.