Publish date:

Minnesota lawmakers work on emergency insulin bill, disagree on how to fund it

There's hope an insulin bill can pass sooner than later.

There appears to be some movement on a bill to increase access to emergency insulin for diabetes sufferers, after earlier efforts to pass it during the 2019 legislative session failed.

On Monday morning, Sen. Matt Little (DFL-Lakeville) announced that Democrats and Republicans in the Minnesota House and Senate have been negotiating a bipartisan deal that could pass in the event of a special session prior to the 2020 legislative season.

Little says the plan would give patients access to a 20-day supply of insulin if they meet financial requirements, and if they're still struggling to afford their supply at the end of that period, they could extend it for up to 2 months.

While Sen. Little says the "framework" of the program has been agreed, where DFLers and GOPers are disagreeing are how to fund it.

Democrats believe the funding should come directly a levy on insulin manufacturers, which is supported by among others Gov. Tim Walz, who said that Big Pharma "rakes in profits" as insulin prices "sky-rocket."

Nonetheless, Gov. Walz dampened down expectations of an imminent deal, accusing some lawmakers of "grandstanding" by suggesting a deal had been struck.

Rather than imposing a fee on insulin manufacturers, Republicans prefer to take the money for the program from the existing health care access fund.

Sign up: Subscribe to our daily newsletters

The legislature failed to pass the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act, named after the 26-year-old man who died in 2017 while rationing insulin he couldn't afford, after apparent clerical errors at the end of the session.

Of the proposed emergency insulin program under discussion, Sen. Little said it's "far from perfect" but "will save lives."

"We know it's not enough," he said in a press release. "It doesn't bring down the outrageously high price of insulin or guarantee an affordable, permanent supply for everyone who needs it.

"And we know that, but it will address the most dangerous situations, and hopefully give people the time they need to find more."

Next Up

Joe Ryan

Joe Ryan continues his dominant September

The right-hander struck out 11 batters in a victory over the Cubs.

Mounds view 9 - crime scene

Man who allegedly shot at police dies after being struck by squad vehicle

The unidentified individual fired shots at police following an alleged domestic disturbance, police say.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns reacts to Gersson Rosas firing: 'WTF'

The Timberwolves star was just as surprised as everyone else

Mounds View shooting incident 1 - county sheriff - crop

Deputy uses squad car to ram armed assault suspect, sheriff's office says

The man had fired multiple shots at officers, striking two of their vehicles, authorities said.

Daniel Carlson

Ex-Viking Daniel Carlson has become one of the NFL's best kickers

Carlson has been automatic since joining the Raiders.

Dustin Sundin crop

'Vulnerable' adult missing after leaving with family member's dog, phone

Authorities found footprints in a creek bed, but haven't been able to locate the man.

Mounds view 7 - crime scene

Police 'use of force' incident reported in Mounds View

The Minnesota BCA is investigating, with more details expected soon.

vaccine, covid

The 8 Minnesota counties still below a 50% vaccination rate

Fewer than half of all vaccine-eligible individuals in these areas have received at least one shot.

Dave Simonett Trampled by Turtles

Trampled By Turtles singer responds to complaints about concert vax requirements

Some of TBT's recent appearances have required proof of vaccine/negative test.

BMTN - Target drive up bag booze

The 5 cent charge for carryout bags is coming back in Minneapolis

The ordinance was suspended at the start of the pandemic.


Minnesota House passes emergency insulin bill, despite GOP opposition

There remains disagreement over how affordable insulin access should be funded.


Clinic security guard charged with stealing boxes of insulin

There is currently high demand for affordable insulin for diabetes sufferers.

Jeremy munson

Lawmaker's Walmart insulin video criticized as 'irresponsible'

Democrats have pointed out that over-the-counter insulin isn't suitable for many diabetics.

Screen Shot 2020-04-08 at 9.05.59 AM

House Majority Leader sorry for giving the finger during insulin presser

Rep. Ryan Winkler said he was frustrated over Republicans' comments about a bipartisan insulin affordability deal.


Big Pharma's challenge to Minnesota's affordable insulin law is dismissed

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America filed the lawsuit the day before the Alec Smith Affordable Insulin Act went into effect.

Lawmakers pass $200M emergency coronavirus funding bill

The bill passed the House and Senate in the early hours of Tuesday.


On day MN's new insulin law goes into effect, drug group sues to stop it

The Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act goes into effect July 1.


Blue Cross and Blue Shield the latest to slash patient insulin costs

The insurer is the latest provider to tackle the rising cost of insulin.