Danelle Johnson has considered leaving the state because there is no law limiting the use of insulin and the cost of drugs is just too high.
“I’m North Dakota through and through, but keeping my daughter alive is more important,” said Johnson.
Her 18-year-old daughter Danika has been suffering from type 1 diabetes for about five and a half years. Treatment requires regular insulin administration to stay alive.
“When I was first diagnosed, I would give injections every day, six to eight a day whenever I ate, or my blood sugar would go high. About four years ago I switched to an insulin pump so it kept dripping all day, ”said Danika.
Having insulin expenses in America exploded in recent years, prompting Senate Draft 2183, which would cap monthly co-payments to just $ 25.
Bill sponsor Senator Dick Dever says proponents of affordable insulin were what motivating him the most.
“The bill did not come from a lobbyist, not from a national organization, but from mothers who are struggling to help their children,” said Dever.
It is not the first time that Danika has championed the issue. In 2019, she represented North Dakota at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Children’s Congress and met with federal delegates to share their concerns.
“It was really interesting to talk to them. They saw a whole new side of diabetes in general just because they could bring diabetes to a face and into people’s lives, ”Danika said.
West Fargo’s Kasey Carlin understands – her 10-year-old daughter Regan has had type 1 diabetes since she was three, and the monthly costs make it difficult to deal with.
“Every time I filled out a prescription it was $ 20 more than the last time. That doesn’t seem like a big deal, but you expect to pay 150, then 170, then 190, that’s hard to budget, ”Carlin said.
Carlin says with assurance that she will meet expenses for the year in January and pay more than $ 1,000 that month, and then $ 200 to $ 300 each month thereafter.
“We have to plan a big paperback hit each January and be ready to pay for our supplies,” Carlin said.
Carlin says the bill would give her family more financial stability and her daughter more freedom in the future.
“When she grows up and grows up, her decision on what kind of work to get she can get depends on what type of insurance she can get, and not necessarily on what work she wants because she needs to be able to do it hope we can change something before she grows up, ”said Carlin.
There hasn’t been a vote on a bill yet, but Danelle and her daughter say they will continue to testify if it goes on.