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Utah lawmakers to look at combating the rising cost of insulin

The Utah State Capitol on the opening day of the Utah State Legislature Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Members of the House Health and Human Services Committee are scheduled to hear a bill to mitigate the rising cost of insulin Thursday afternoon.

HB207 creates an incentive for health benefit plans to reduce the required copayments for insulin and directs the Public Employees’ Benefit and Insurance Program to purchase insulin at discounted prices and to create a program that allows public employees to access the discounted insulin. It also increases the number of professions that can be licensed to prescribe insulin.

Other bills to be heard in committee today include:

• Members of the Senate Transportation, Public Utilities, Energy and Technology Committee will consider SB92, requiring the Utah Department of Transportation to develop a statewide comprehensive plan for public transit, freight and any other use of fixed rail to fully and efficiently integrate all uses of rail within the state.

• The Senate Health and Human Services Committee has on its agenda SJR2, a joint resolution encouraging action to reduce the number of Utah children with elevated levels of lead in their blood. The resolution describes the known adverse health effects and encourages Utah health care providers for children, pregnant women and women of childbearing age to be knowledgeable about the risks of environmental lead exposure.

• Members of the House Government Operations Committee are discussing HB70, which would remove provisions from the Election Code that allow an individual to cast a vote for all candidates from one political party without voting for the candidates individually, known as straight-ticket voting.