The Washington State Senate today passed SB 5729, legislation to ensure that Washingtonians with diabetes would continue to pay no more than $35 a month for insulin. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines) and passed unanimously.
In 2022, legislators passed Keiser’s previous insulin bill, SB 5546, which capped the cost of insulin at $35 a month, but the cap in that bill is scheduled to expire on Jan. 1, 2024. The cap was intended to be temporary while Congress passed legislation to control the cost of insulin at the federal level, but Congress failed to act. Before that, in 2020, the Senate passed legislation sponsored by Keiser to cap the out-of-pocket cost for insulin at $100 a month.
This year’s bill, SB 5729, would remove the expiration date, so that out-of-pocket expenses for a 30-day supply of insulin would be capped at $35 permanently.
“I had hoped that Congress would have ensured insulin would be affordable for all Americans by now, but Washington state won’t wait on D.C. to act,” said Keiser. “Insulin is a lifesaving medication that we’ve been using for more than 100 years, it’s very cheap to produce, and there’s no reason that anyone who needs it should be struggling to afford it. The price has skyrocketed, and we have a responsibility to keep these vital prescriptions affordable.”
The bill now goes to the House for consideration.