ROCKFORD (WREX) — A new law takes effect starting Jan. 1 and it's aimed at helping those who need insulin. That insulin law has a special connection to the stateline.
The co-sponsor of the bill is a local lawmaker, Senator Steve Stadelman. But for Stadelman, it's more than just a bill, it's personal. It has to do with his son, Nik.
Nik Stadelman can take a shot, as evident by the shots he drained while on the Guilford basketball team and the charge he took at Illinois State University as a walk-on in a basketball game against Greenville University. But each day he takes a different kind of hit. That's because he's a type 1 diabetic.
"Here's the most recent prescription I picked up for my son a few days ago," Sen. Stadelman says, holding up the receipt to the camera. "The retail price is over $2,000!"
And Nik knows his medication is costly.
"It's kind of stunning to me," Nik says. "Every time I hear the numbers, I kind of feel bad."
While Nik says he sometimes feels like a burden, insulin, which balances blood sugar levels, is a medication he needs to survive. But Sen. Stadelman says in the last 15 years the price of it has tripled.
"Now, I have insurance, so my insurance covers most of this, but those who don't have insurance, or don't have good insurance, that's a lot!" Stadelman points out.
Being forced to learn this with his son, the local senator saw the impact on others less fortunate.
"People have to ration their insulin or turn to lower quality products and that can lead to further health problems and more expensive healthcare costs in the longer run," Stadelman explains.
So, Sen Stadelman took action by co-sponsoring a bill to cap the price of insulin at $100 per month.
That bill passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 48 to 7.
"It means a lot because my dad's putting in the full work to help kids like me," Nik says.
And on Jan. 1, that feeling of support Nik feels from his father will create a ripple-effect, impacting diabetics across the state, and for Sen. Stadelman, it will be right at home.
Another part of this new law calls for state agencies to look at why the cause of why insulin prices have surged in the past decade and come up with recommendations to prevent over-pricing in the future.