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STATEHOUSE INSIDER: Illinois lawmakers attack high insulin costs

Oh, and by the way, Illinois is the sexiest state

Doug Finke
Doug Finke

We’ve already discussed how the veto session will be a snoozer because of a lack of vetoed bills to be considered.

That will leave time for other issues to be considered and one of those will be dealing with the high cost of insulin.

There are 30 million Americans who have diabetes and many of them rely on insulin to control the disease. But the cost of the drug has been soaring in recent years. News reports say the four most popular types of insulin have tripled in cost over the past 10 years. That’s led to people skimping on doses.

Illinois lawmakers – including Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, and Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur – are pushing for a bill that would limit out-of-pocket costs for insulin to $100 for a 30-day supply. Colorado enacted a similar cap earlier this year. Manar and Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, are spearheading the effort to get the law passed during the abbreviated veto session.

News conferences are planned next week in several locations to further explain the proposal and start generating support for it. The veto session starts Oct. 28.

Better than fair

It was a banner year for both Illinois state fairs this year.

The official one in Springfield set records for revenue and ticket sales for grandstand events. The fair posted its highest attendance since 2014, and a 37 percent increase over last year. Many vendors also reported a banner year.

Last week, numbers were released for the Du Quoin State Fair. They showed an increase of 23 percent in attendance, although without an admission fee, attendance is estimated rather than a precise number. Also, grandstand ticket sales and revenue were up.

Remember, Du Quoin was supposed to be the location of the big boycott after the state canceled an appearance by Confederate Railroad at the grandstand. Looks like the boycott was a flop.

Corrupt but sexy

Illinois has been called a lot of things over the years and, frankly, not all of it was very nice.

“Most corrupt” is a common one. “Most bankrupt,” too, for all of our financial problems. But sexiest state in America? Whoever said that?

Big 7 Travel is who.

Who? Exactly.

The company’s website states: “Big 7 Media creates original content across our three brands – travel, food and hotels – for a mobile-first, millennial audience. We produce city guides aimed toward adventurous travelers (sic) looking for authentic experiences, from where to eat and drink to the most unmissable things to do.”

Big 7 says it has a social audience of 1.5 million and asked them where to find “America’s most beautiful people.” That would appear to give the survey a margin of error closing in on 100 percent, but what the hey.

Finishing dead last was Nebraska. Why? That’s never made clear, not for Nebraska or any other state.

Finishing 25th and 24th are Indiana and Wisconsin, respectively. So while certain factions want you to believe Illinoisans are flooding to relocate in those states, it’s not because of better-looking people.

At the top of the list is Illinois, beating out Colorado for sexiest state.

“Illinois takes first place and easily topped our poll for 2019,” Big 7 Travel said. “Who could disagree with this? It’s no wonder that so many celebrities, sportspeople and singers that come from here are outrageously attractive.”

In case you’re wondering, the company says that 46 percent of its audience is between the ages of 25 and 34, and that 42 percent of them earn $75,000 or more per year.

It also has this to say: “With content sourced from the 7 continents, we cut through the clutter to share only the best.” Guess that includes the best places to stay at and dine in Antarctica.

Contact Doug Finke:, 788-1527,

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