AUSTIN (KXAN) — A bill that caps out-of-pocket insulin prices in Texas is headed to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk.
Nearly 2.8 million Texans have diabetes. Over the past decade, insulin prices have more than tripled. Out-of-pocket prices range from hundreds to thousands of dollars a month.
On Monday, the Texas House passed SB 827, which will limit co-pays to $25 for each insulin prescription per month for insured Texans on state-regulated health plans.
Rep. James Talarico, Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, Sen. Eddie Lucio III and Rep. Four Price passed the legislation through both the Texas Senate and House.
Talarico’s personal experiences with diabetes spurred him to put his full support toward this legislation.
As the state representative from Round Rock was campaigning in the 2018 election for the seat he currently holds, he decided to walk the distance of his district. During the 25-mile walk, Talarico started feeling sick.
He said he became nauseous and fatigued — ultimately, sleeping for 36 hours straight in an attempt to recover.
Doctors found he was in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis. After being rushed to the emergency room, Talarico found out his blood glucose levels were 900 — over 10 times normal levels — and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
Talarico made a full recovery and now manages the condition. Despite the passing of SB 827, Talarico says there’s more to be done
“We’re making progress toward our eventual goal: free insulin,” Talarico said in a release. “Because insulin is not a product. It’s a human right.”