Wausau Man Weighs in on Proposed Bill to Cap Insulin Prices

By: Sarah McGrew 7/25/19 WAOW

WAUSAU (WAOW) — Bill Giese has been living with diabetes for most of his life and knows just how important his insulin doses are.

“If I don’t pay for this, I die,” Giese said bluntly. “I can’t overstate enough, when you’re a type one diabetic and you need that insulin, how much that dictates and controls your life.”

Giese said he’s lucky that his insurance covers the cost of his diabetic medical supplies. But for many others, paying for insulin doses is a monthly burden.

This week, four Wisconsin democratic lawmakers introduced a bill that would cap monthly insulin prices at $100. Insurance companies would absorb the rest of that cost.

State Representative Katrina Shankland is one of the sponsors of the bill. She said that she spoke with one family who is paying $650 per month for one of their kids.

“I don’t think anyone should be priced out of a life saving and life giving medication,” Shankland said. She also noted that one out of every four people living with diabetes have had to skip or ration insulin doses due to high costs.

“They are at risk of dying or other severe medical and health problems,” she said.

Now the four democratic lawmakers are reaching across the aisle for republican co-sponsors of the bill.

News 9 tried reaching out to various republican lawmakers from Central Wisconsin about the proposed legislation, but did not receive a reply.

Giese said he believes this issue goes beyond party lines.

“I think this is more of a let’s be good to one another, let’s have good human nature, let’s take care of one another,” Giese said.