Saint Paul, Minn.— Earlier today, Governor Tim Walz, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman, Senator Melissa Wiklund, Representative Mike Howard, and Representative Tina Liebling and Minnesotans with diabetes held a press conference addressing the insulin crisis by proposing pre-filed compromise legislation to improve access to affordable insulin in Minnesota. This comes after a bipartisan member working group met for weeks behind closed doors to negotiate on a bill.
“We have spent the past year fighting for a solution that provides access to emergency insulin for Minnesotans whose lives depend on it,” said Senator Melissa Wiklund. “Through efforts to pass the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act, and continuing after the 2019 session, we have worked with legislators from both parties on emergency access, as well as a longer-term program for those who struggle to pay for their insulin. We are in a position to save peoples’ lives, but we must move from discussion to action. Our plan connects people to both longer-term assistance, and an immediate supply if needed. Any further delay could cost more lives. I support the Governor’s call to move forward and quickly pass a solution when session begins that he can sign into law.”
“As we have heard from Minnesotans with diabetes and their families across the state, proposals that allow insulin manufacturers to continue the status quo, without contributing to addressing emergency insulin access, are not responsive to their needs. It is time to implement a patient-focused program that addresses the needs of the most vulnerable – including those who are uninsured, as well as those who have insurance but face high out-of-pocket costs. Further tragedies from insulin rationing can be prevented, but we need to finish the work we have started as soon as possible.”