Sharp words and frayed tempers as Minnesota House Democrats continue pushing for a fee on drug manufacturers to pay for a program to assist those who can’t afford insulin. Lake Crystal Republican Jeremy Munson warns it will increase insulin costs for everyone else because the fee is based on how much the drug maker sells. “The manufacturer selling theirs at one-ninth the cost is going to pay the same as somebody that’s charging nine times the cost — so now you’re creating a perverse incentive for these insulin manufacturers to increase the rate,” Munson says.
Richfield Democrat Michael Howard fired back any fee is only a small sliver of insulin makers’ profits. “Eli Lilly last year did 25 billion dollars of business. They also paid a federal effective tax rate of zero dollars,” Howard says.
Minnesota House Democrats and Republicans in the Senate have been stalemated since late May over an insulin assistance program.