State Representatives Matthew Hill (left) and Jason Hodges
State Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, and State Rep. Jason Hodges, D-Clarksville, today announced they would join together in sponsoring House Bill 1931, a bipartisan bill that will set a price cap on the cost patients pay for insulin at $100 for a 30-day supply.
Each day, Tennesseans are impacted by absurdly high prices of life-saving insulin Hill and Hodges said. The cost of the drug has soared along with the rising number of people being diagnosed with diabetes.
Nearly 14 percent of Tennessee’s adult population – about 730,000 people – in 2018 was diabetic, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. That number represents a substantial increase up from 11 percent in 2011. Another 570,000 adult Tennesseans were diagnosed with prediabetes in 2018.
“So many rely on insulin to survive and the cost has skyrocketed at an alarming rate in recent years,” said Hill. “That has forced many living with diabetes to ration or skip doses, sometimes with tragic consequences. That is unacceptable.”
The lawmakers agree that families should never be forced to choose between the health of a loved one and their financial security.
“I can’t stress enough how important it is to lower the price of insulin in the state of Tennessee,” Hodges said. “I’m happy to be a sponsor of this bill, particularly in this bipartisan manner because it affects people in all districts and all demographics across the state.
“This life-saving legislation will provide families with relief and ensure patients with diabetes receive access to care they desperately need.”
The bill HB1931 has been forwarded to the House Insurance Committee’s Life and Health Insurance subcommittee. The companion State Senate bill, SB1939 has been forwarded to the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.