This week, Legislature approved the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act, and Governor Walz signed it into law.
This is a major milestone, with the House and Senate reaching a bipartisan consensus after more than a year of hearings, town hall meetings, and public testimony. As a result, people with diabetes in Minnesota will be able to access insulin in an emergency, and they will have a pathway to help them access affordable insulin over the long-term, too.
Approval of this landmark legislation would not have been possible without the courage and bravery of Minnesotans who told heartbreaking personal stories over and over. Alec Smith’s parents, James and Nicole, and all of the #insulin4all advocates deserve our thanks and gratitude. Click here to read a story about the vote and what it took to get to this point.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause economic pain and hardship for Minnesotans of all backgrounds, but public health officials expect Black, Indigenous, and people of color to be disproportionately impacted as a result of other health inequities, such as higher rates of preexisting conditions like asthma, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease. There is a lot more work to do to respond to this unprecedented public health crisis in a way that is equitable, and it can’t happen soon enough.
What we do know is that abruptly halting public health guidelines and peacetime emergency actions to save lives would be irresponsible and endanger the health of Minnesotans. There is currently no treatment or vaccine available to protect against this virus. If we are going to re-open the economy we need to ensure we can do so safely. What’s put us in this position is a lack of preparedness from our federal government and its unwillingness to take this threat seriously from the start.
Lastly, our local Girl Scouts council, Girl Scouts River Valleys, has a program called Cookies For a Cause which gives Minnesotans the opportunity to support Girl Scouts as they support their communities. Through this program the public can purchase Girl Scout cookies that will then be donated to partner organizations responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The program ends on April 26th so please get your orders in soon!
Please be in touch if I can help get answers to your questions or connect you with resources. You can call my office at 651-296-4192 or send an email to email@example.com. The best place to quickly find accurate and up-to-date information and get help is www.mn.gov/covid19.
Thank you for all you are doing to save lives and care for each other during these extremely challenging times.