It’s the first day of the Great Minnesota Get-Together. You’ll be able to catch me during the Minnesota State Fair at the House of Representatives booth from 10am-12pm on Monday, August 26. Come over and say hello as you make your way to the next food stand. Before you head off to enjoy the festivities of the fair, here’s a quick update on the work being conducted at the State Capitol.
Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act
Even with the Legislature adjourned until February, work remains to be done, especially when it comes to the insulin crisis. Studies indicate that 1 in 4 diabetics have resorted to rationing their insulin due to the skyrocketing price of the drug. One of those was Alec Smith, a Minnesotan who aged-out of his parents insurance and was no longer able to afford his life-saving medication. Alec tragically passed away due to a lack of insulin, and this year at the Minnesota Legislature, Alec’s parents and other amazing advocates pushed for change, and that came in the form of the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act.
The Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act would establish a means for Minnesotans who are unable to afford their needed insulin to get their prescription filled on a temporary basis. It would also authorize pharmacies to fill a temporary supply of insulin for patients whose prescription is out-of-date. Reimbursements for pharmacies would be paid through a fee on Big Pharma insulin manufacturers, who continue to profit from this crisis.
Despite strong bipartisan support, the bill failed in the final hours of negotiations with leaders in the GOP Senate, who would rather not hold insulin manufacturers accountable. Advocates and members of the DFL House are working to make sure this legislation isn’t placed on the back burner. With another Minnesotan dead from insulin rationing, the time is now to solve this issue. Legislators recently held a bipartisan roundtable discussion on insulin, and more community meetings and committee hearings will follow until a solution is found. I hope you’ll join me in calling on our GOP leaders in the Senate to address this issue now.
If you’d like to get involved in the advocacy efforts around the #insulin4all movement, the Minnesota Chapter of T1International will be holding a rally on Sunday, August 25 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Centennial Lakes Park Amphitheater in Edina. You can find more information here.
Stay in Touch
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. During the interim I’ll be back home working with neighbors to find solutions to the issues facing our community and state, and I would appreciate your input! As always, you can reach me at (651) 296-4255 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!