An insulin assistance program paid for by drug manufacturers is *not* part of the new state budget after emotional debate early this morning (Sat) at the Capitol. Lakeville Democrat Matt Little says it costs six dollars to make a vial of the new insulin but it sells for 300, “so you’ll have to excuse me that I don’t send a thank you card to Eli Lilly for cutting their price in half.” The House and Senate both approved versions of the program, but it was not in the final budget agreement — prompting finger-pointing. Anoka Republican Jim Abeler said, “I’m afraid that if I *don’t vote for it, that I’m gonna get a post card in the mail saying I hope more people die. And to those who would do that, I know about having a son die, and it’s not that much fun. And none of us take this lightly.”
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka warned if the measure passed it could “totally disrupt” lawmakers’ efforts to finish the state budget before Memorial Day.