Members received an alert today (Tuesday) on House Bill 4543, relating to a bill capping the co-payment of insulin for diabetics to $25 for a 30-day supply. Members were asked to lobby the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee to take up the bill.

The bill was taken up Tuesday by another committee, the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee, where it was recommended for passage this afternoon (Tuesday). But there is a catch: An amendment raised the cap to $100.

Early in the bill’s language, it tells why union leadership is helping push for passage: 240,000 West Virginians are diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and another 65,000 are undiagnosed. The estimated annual cost to West Virginia is $2.5 billion — shouldered in huge part by our citizens.

The bill, with the $25 cap, passed the House of Delegates 94-4 on February 19, but still faces an uncertain fate in the Senate as the midnight Saturday deadline approaches.

It was referred to the and was reported out without recommendation Monday. By unanimous consent, it was immediately taken up on the Senate floor and given a First Reading, then referred to the Health and Human Resources Committee.

After passing there, with the larger gap, it must go through Finance Committee before returning to the Senate floor, where it must go through two readings. If it survives all that, the Senate will ask the House to concur. If the House refuses, a committee would have to resolve differences.

In other news affecting the union, Senate Bill 616, which puts restrictions on the grievance process, remains in the House Government Organization Committee. That committee had not posted its next meeting as of Tuesday afternoon.

Some other bills:

  • SB 820, which which allows the DHHR to “transfer comprehensive community mental health centers and comprehensive intellectual disability facilities to regional mental health centers or regional intellectual disability facilities,” remains in the House Finance Committee, the last step before heading to the House floor.
  • SB 312, which relates to the provisional licensure requirements for social workers, is up for Second Reading on Tuesday in the House.