The political tug-of-war over a statewide insulin assistance program continues at the Minnesota Capitol today (Thurs). House Democrats will move their bill forward, trying to break a stalemate with Senate Republicans — who have a hearing this afternoon (3pm) on a very different plan. On Tuesday, Shari Wiltrout showed lawmakers a month’s worth of insulin for her two daughters, then took bundles of cash out of her bag saying, “This is what one month of insulin costs when you don’t have health insurance. House Democrats want a fee on insulin manufacturers to help pay for the program. Senate Republicans’ plan would have drug makers provide free insulin in emergency situations.
Sharon Lamberton with the PhRMA industry group told lawmakers Tuesday there are already assistance programs. “Furthermore, we just released the Medication Assistance Tool, www.mat.org, which represents 900 public or private programs that represent one-stop shopping for all of those assistance programs today,” Lamberton said. Democrats respond it’s difficult for patients in emergency situations to find help to pay for their insulin.