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Cap on rising insulin costs could save families from bankruptcy

Published: Monday, January 27, 2020 01:35 PM

fine 110619SPRINGFIELD – Illinoisans with diabetes will pay less for their prescription insulin, thanks to a new law co-sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) that seeks to address soaring prescription drug costs.

“The cost of insulin has tripled in the past decade, and wages haven’t followed suit. Prescription drug companies shouldn’t be able to burden families with these sky-high costs,” said Fine, who was the measure’s chief co-sponsor in the Senate. “I’m thrilled to help provide some relief to Illinoisans with diabetes.”

For patients on state-regulated insurance plans, Public Act 101-625 caps the out-of-pocket cost of prescription insulin at $100 for a 30-day supply.

More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, and 7.4 million Americans require prescription insulin every day to survive, according to the American Diabetes Association. However, the price of insulin has risen sharply in recent years, driving many patients to sacrifice other daily needs to pay for insulin or to ration their supply.

The legislation makes Illinois the second state to cap prescription insulin co-payments.

“People with diabetes used to have to choose between paying their bills and paying for insulin,” said Fine. “We’re giving them a little more wiggle room and relieving some of that burden. Hopefully this helps people get their prescription without having to sacrifice other needs.”

Public Act 101-625 was signed into law on Friday and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2021.

Koehler: capping insulin costs is common sense

Published: Monday, January 27, 2020 01:10 PM

koehler 053119SPRINGFIELD – Following the signing of legislation to combat skyrocketing costs of prescription insulin, State Senator Dave Koehler offered the following statement:

“For far too long, people who need this medication to survive have been forced to make the impossible choice between food and housing or prescription medication,” Koehler (D-Peoria) said. “This life saving medication should be available at a cost that will not break the bank, and with this new law we’re making this a reality for Illinoisans.”

The price of insulin has drastically increased in the United States in the past several years. According to a 2016 analysis, the price of the drug tripled between 2002 and 2013.

1.3 million Illinoisans are living with diabetes and rely on insulin to manage their blood sugar levels. Price increases have left many of them struggling to pay for the drug, and at-risk of deadly consequences.

“This truly is common sense legislation, and I’m incredibly proud to have advocated on its behalf,” Koehler said.

Belt urges early childhood investors to apply for Early Childhood Block Grant

Published: Thursday, January 23, 2020 10:46 AM

Senator BeltCENTREVILLE – To increase the success of our youth, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) is urging schools to submit an application to receive the Early Childhood Block Grant from the Illinois State Board of Education.

“Schools need to close their student’s achievement gap sooner than later and that starts with increasing the investment in our kids at a young age,” Belt said. “We are trying to improve access to quality early childhood programs and early childhood investors need to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Last year’s $543.7 million appropriation for early childhood was the largest in Illinois history.

Eligible applicants for the Early Childhood Block Grant include public school districts, university laboratory schools approved by Illinois State Board of Education, charter schools, area vocational centers, and public or private not-for-profit or for-profit entities with experience in providing educational, health, social, or child development services to young children and their families.

For more information visit www.isbe.net/ecbg. Applications are due to the Illinois State Board of Education no later than 4 p.m. on March 23.

New Sims law makes voting accessible to Illinois students

Published: Wednesday, January 22, 2020 04:52 PM

young voterCHICAGO—A plan to give students time off to vote was signed into law on Wednesday.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) led efforts to pass legislation, which allows students to vote during school hours. This comes after push back from school administrators during a “March to the Polls.” Students from those schools rallied to pass the new law out of committee last year, and some were there to see it signed into law.

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