The Minnesota Senate unanimously (66-0) passed its version of an insulin assistance bill today. The bill provides 30 days of emergency insulin to anyone regardless of income as long as they are Minnesota residents and in need of the medicine. Senator Jim Abeler of Anoka said, “this bill needs a little buffing and shining, but it works, it’s not going to cause a lawsuit, it’s not going to get shut down in the courts, we’re not going to pass something and have nothing happen like the bills last year.” An insulin bill failed to past the finish line last session when House Democrats and Senate Republicans clashed over whether drug makers should pay for an insulin assistance program. The current bill’s chief author Republican Scott Jensen of Chaska said he’s most proud that the measure represents “renewability, portability, a potential model for other medications that are life-sustaining, a holistic approach, reestablishing relationships that need to be in place for the best diabetic care to be provided, and strong measures of accountability.” The bill is named the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act after the Minnesota man who died at the age of 26 in 2017 when he couldn’t afford his insulin. The House passed its version of an insulin bill last month and now a conference committee will hash out the differences between the two bills.
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