Helping Those With Diabetes

Editor, News-Register:

Accolades to our West Virginia legislators Democrat House Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer and Republican House Delegate Dr. Matthew Rohrbach who will be sponsoring an upcoming bill in the hopes of lowering healthcare costs for those living with diabetes in the Mountain State. This bipartisan endeavor will help thousands of people inflicted with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.

If this bill passes, it could potentially limit copays on equipment and supplies at $100, and non-insulin medication at $25 a month. These supplies would include life-saving items such as pumps, sensors, and personal glucose testing supplies. Diabetes can be a very destructive disease, but with proper care and less expensive equipment to monitor sugar levels, the devastation it brings to the body can be halted and even suppressed.

I am the mother of a Type 1 Diabetic. I have watched the advancements in medicine and medical technology change his life. He wears a Free Style Libre, which is a sensor worn on the arm. When he wants to check his sugar, he simply sways his cellphone over the sensor to get an accurate blood sugar reading. There’s no more need for lancets, blood sugar monitors, alcohol swabs, and the other once necessary contraptions used for diabetic care. The sensors are not only helpful, but they save time and money, especially to a college student.

So, what’s the problem? These sensors cost over $430 for a 90-day supply. That amount is very costly for most West Virginians.

My son has been on the Free Style Libre for two years. We watched his A1C (which is your average daily blood sugar) go from a very serious 10 down to a healthier 7. Lower A1Cs mean less organ damage, sight damage, and better circulation. Yet, some cannot afford this life-preserving device. Doesn’t every West Virginian deserve the right to more affordable lifesaving solutions?

As a teacher, I told my son at 16, you will need to work to help pay for your healthcare. We are lucky enough that we can pool our resources together and pay for what we need. Unfortunately, it always hasn’t been easy, especially since I was a widow for so many years of his diagnosis. No child should ever have to get a job to help pay for his own medical expenses. I did tutoring and even waitressing to help with the costs because I knew how the benefits of this sensor would well be worth it. Some, for whatever reason, can’t do this. Access to cheaper life-saving tools like sensors and pumps need proper legislation to come to pass.

Thank you delegates for your help on this issue. The lowering of such costs will benefit everyone on both sides of the aisle.

Margaret Vasil-Reider



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