Lawmakers remain stalemated over an assistance program for Minnesotans who can’t afford insulin, after a recent State Senate hearing when Republicans presented their plan and Democrats raised numerous objections. KAUS News spoke with State District 27B Representative Jeanne Poppe, DFL’er from Austin who stated that although many answers to the problem are at a national level, it is up to lawmakers to help make the drug more accessible to those who need it….
The Alec Smith mentioned by Poppe was the subject of a bill put forth during the last legislative session by Representative Michael Howard, a DFL’er from Richfield, Smith’s hometown. Smith passed away in 2017 after being forced to ration his insulin due to the high cost. The price of insulin has tripled in the last decade, and studies indicate that 1 in 4 diabetics have resorted to rationing their insulin due to the high cost. Republicans propose that drug makers provide free insulin to patients who can’t afford it. Democrats want to charge drug manufacturers a fee to pay for a state-run assistance program.