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Mainers with diabetes to see insulin cost relief with Inflation Reduction Act

"Nobody should have to choose between groceries and living," Rachel White, who has diabetes, said.

CANAAN, Maine — Nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes, 7 million requiring daily insulin.

Rachel White was diagnosed with diabetes in January. She said she has experienced a wave of emotions with handling the new diagnosis over the past eight months.

"It seems the common story is you're really just thrown into the fire. You're given insulin, and you're told to figure it out," White said.

Lawmakers have made a push to ensure lower costing insulin for Americans, but there's still a long way to go.

"Nobody should have to choose between groceries and living," White said.

President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, which included limits on insulin costs for some diabetics nationwide.

The Inflation Reduction Act caps insulin costs at $35 for people with Medicare across the country. That leaves a number of people who rely on private insurance.

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Several states offer insulin price caps, including Maine, which brings relief to White's insulin price tag.

The law saving her hundreds. 

"This is how much my insurance is saving me. This $662, and out of pocket I'm paying $35."

White said she's very grateful but says she thinks there's still work that needs to be done across the country.

"It breaks my heart just thinking that this life-saving drug isn't necessarily available or affordable to everybody," White said.

About 14 percent of Americans who use insulin reached "catastrophic" spending on insulin costs, according to a study led by Yale researchers. "Catastrophic spending" means that after spending on food and homes, 40 percent of their income was spent on insulin.

White's brother-in-law and niece are both diagnosed with diabetes. White's sister, Rebecca, said the family's combined costs led the family to change insurance companies.

"When we added my daughter's costs on top of my husband's, it just became really astronomically expensive," Rebecca Lilja said.

Diabetes is the most expensive chronic disease in the United States, according to the CDC.

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