Williamsburg girl spearheading legislative effort

There was standing room only in a Columbus, Ohio Statehouse Senate hearing room Tuesday, Sept. 13, as nine people stood before the Senate Insurance, Commerce, and Labor Committee detailing their struggle with insurance companies not covering the cost of their diabetes supplies.

The 10 senators, sitting at a raised desk, listened as those testifying explained why Ohio should pass the Diabetes Cost Reduction Act.

The Act, also known as Senate Bill 113, would guarantee that state regulated health insurance companies cover the cost of diabetes equipment such as insulin pumps and blood-sugar monitors. Currently, Ohio is one of only four states that does not guarantee that the cost of diabetes maintenance supplies be covered by insurance.

Personal stories of the struggle to get diabetes supplies resonated throughout the room. A 17-year-old girl from Milford, Ohio explained how she saved money to pay for her supplies. A co-ed studying pre-medicine at the University of Dayton detailed his experience. Even Miss Ohio, whose mother and father have diabetes, was present at the hearing.

Eight-year-old Jessi Martin, who has had type-1 diabetes since she was two years old, and her mother Debi, both of Williamsburg, are spearheading the fight to get the act passed. Both Jessi and Debi testified at the hearing.

According to Debi, as she and Jessi testified children in the audience held up posters of the supplies people need in order to stay healthy with diabetes.