CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia diabetics are hoping that state lawmakers can bring them real relief when it comes to the cost of their insulin and diabetic supplies.

There are bills being presented in both the House and Senate that would cap co-pays at 25 dollars for diabetic supplies and insulin. Both have bi-partisan support, however not much action is being taken on them.

Co-sponsor of the House Bill, Delegate Barbara Fleischauer, (D) Monongalia, says “What we’re worried about here is that if one of these two bills doesn’t get on the agenda, it’s gong to be dead for the session. And ya know, that’s kind of an ironic word. This bill will save lives.”

Neither the House or Senate bill that would limit co-pays for West Virginia diabetics for their insulin and supplies to 25-dollars are on the legislative agenda yet.

Gary Dougherty – Director, State Government Affairs, American Diabetes Association says, “Diabetes is expensive. People with diabetes have medical expenses approximately two point three times higher than those who do not have diabetes.”

Mindy Salango, a type-one diabetic, says she had to use some of her stimulus check to buy life saving medication. She adds it’s a situation she’s been in one, too many times. “I’ve been in the situation where I’ve had to ration insulin because of money. It’s terrifying. You don’t know what you’re doing to your body.”

Both bills have bi-partisan support. However, lawmakers worry about back-lash from private insurance companies.

Lead sponsor for the House Bill, Delegate Matt Rohrbach (R) – Cabell says, “Insurance companies tend to focus on the moment and not the big picture. Because the big picture you save enormous amount of money.”

For now the Senate Nill is pending in committee. But people like Salango worry that’s where it will stay and have no chance of becoming law.

“We’re dying. And I don’t say that lightly. West Virginians are dying. Due to lack of affordable access to care. And this is the opportunity to save lives.”

Mindy Salango, Type One Diabetic

Last year, West Virginia lawmakers passed a bill to just cap the price of insulin to 100 dollars.
These bills would lower the cap on co-pays for supplies, equipment and non-insulin drugs to treat diabetes.