The Minnesota House is set to vote later today (415pm start) on a controversial insulin assistance bill. Insulin manufacturers would be charged a fee which would be used to run the program. Democrats contend drug makers have artificially driven up insulin prices to increase profits and should pay to solve the problem. Republicans respond the blame falls on a number of stakeholders and the state should take advantage of pharma’s willingness to provide free insulin to those who can’t afford it. A bill the Senate is moving forward goes that direction. The stalemate between Democrats and Republicans has been going on for nearly a year, and could very well continue even after the House and Senate pass their bills.
The House is also scheduled to vote today on a bill that would restrict use of data on the political party preferences of those voting in next Tuesday’s “Super Tuesday” presidential primary in Minnesota. That information could only be used by the national political parties for narrowly-defined purposes. Backers of the measure say unless current law is changed, voter party-preference data could fall into the wrong hands and be misused. Opponents respond early voting has already been going on in Minnesota for some time and it would be a mistake to change the rules in the middle of the game.