LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - A Lawton state representative is pushing to cap the cost of insulin for Oklahomans.
Representative Rande Worthen of Lawton introduced a bill to make that happen.
He says it will eventually make life for those living with diabetes a whole lot easier.
State Representative Rande Worthen admits that he’s not the first to write a bill like his.
House Bill 1019, aims to cap the copayment cost of insulin that insurance companies can charge their clients.
Worthen says similar bills have been brought to the legislature before but have never made it past committees.
“Well I saw that we had a bill, you know that somebody was running, and so I was excited to see that but with various reasons, COVID and others, it just never did make it out of committees. So this year we’ve got it out of committee and I’m looking for a good outturn here soon,” said Representative Worthen.
He decided to reintroduce the idea to the legislature after hearing from a grandmother who was struggling to pay for her grandchild’s’ insulin.
“An individual and friend that I’m familiar with out of Woodward, Oklahoma, whose a grandmother was telling me about her child, or grandchild having to be on insulin and the cost was just skyrocketing,” Representative Worthen said.
According to the American Diabetes Association, about half a million people in Oklahoma suffer from some type of diabetes and approximately five percent have Type I diabetes and require insulin.
Diabetes specialist, Jan Miller, with Community Health Centers, says capping the cost of insulin could have a dramatic affect on those who live with Type I diabetes and their families.
“Now it wont be as cost destroying because it can be such a financial issue that people forsake other foods or other medications to purchase their insulin,” Miller said.
She says even with insurance, the cost of a one month supply of insulin for one person can cost up to a thousand dollars.
Worthen says he’s received support from both Democrats and Republicans alike.
The bill passed in the House of Representatives Insurance Committee last week and Worthen says if it’s passed in the House and Senate and signed by the Governor, it would become law in November.
He urges supporters of the bill to contact their legislators and voice their approval.
“This is not a republican or democrat, this is an issue that strikes across all individuals,” Representative Worthen said.