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Several diabetics testify in support of decreasing insulin costs

(WBKO)
Published: Feb. 18, 2020 at 6:45 PM CST
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Nebraska senators Justin Wayne and Kate Bolz brought bills to a hearing Tuesday that would decrease insulin co-pays to $100 a month.

Several diabetics who testified Tuesday said they currently pay hundreds of dollars a month, forcing some to ration their insulin.

Nebraska diabetic Kameran Ulferts was diagnosed as a teenager and said this is a life-saving drug for diabetics.

"It shouldn't be rent or insulin," Ulferts said, "It shouldn't be food or insulin. It shouldn't have to be a deciding factor of this complicated narrative of how you go about affording your insulin."

According to DHHS, 1 in 11 Nebraskans currently have diabetes. In 2016, just over 500 people died due to complications with diabetes. Supporters of both bills said they've had family members ration their insulin. One man said his nephew ran out of insulin causing him to die.

Ulferts said it should be a human right to have easier access to this life-saving drug.

"Without insulin, it's life or death," Ulferts said," Without our monthly prescription of insulin its life or death."

Opponents of the bills said it will increase insurance rates and cause higher deductibles.

Sen. Bolz said she expects her bill to pass this session. Senators Bolz and Wayne did not say if their bills could co-exist or if only one will hopefully pass.