The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus wants the state to push forward measures that will improve prescription drug costs, children’s health and jail overcrowding.
Rep. Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis) – head of the black caucus – says rising health care costs are a pervasive problem throughout Indiana, and particularly in minority communities. To help address that, she wants to cap the amount insurance companies can charge for a 30-day supply of insulin at $100.
“One in four diabetics are sharing their insulin," Shackleford says. "They’re not taking their insulin.”
Another black caucus priority would require lead testing in all Lake County schools, a region experiencing a lead contamination crisis. Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D-East Chicago) says lead exposure has effects far beyond the individual child.
“It hurts their development, when you’re talking about mental illnesses, disruptions in classrooms,” Randolph says.
Caucus members acknowledge their priorities might not pass this session but emphasize the importance of initiating debate.