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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Michael Howard (DFL)

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Statement on Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act

Monday, July 29, 2019

Since June, a bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators have been meeting to discuss the issue of emergency insulin access for Minnesotans. Over several meetings, legislators discussed the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act with consensus emerging on the framework of an insulin assistance program, including eligibility and the parameters of how a program would serve Minnesotans in need of an emergency supply of insulin. Legislators did not reach consensus on the funding mechanism for the program. State Representative Michael Howard (DFL-Richfield) and Senator Melissa Wiklund (DFL-Richfield) released the following statement: 
“We appreciate the willingness of this bipartisan group of legislators to come to the table and work on a solution to address the crisis facing Minnesotans who cannot afford their insulin. That work has yielded progress, yet important and urgent work remains because lives are at stake. 
Our work must continue in the public arena. It’s time to hold public hearings where we can listen to our Diabetes community and the Minnesotans who are impacted by the unacceptable high cost of insulin. By working together in partnership with Minnesotans, we must drive toward consensus to pass the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act, providing emergency access to insulin to Minnesotans that need it while holding insulin manufacturers accountable for a crisis that they helped create. 
No Minnesotan should ever again lose their life because they cannot afford the insulin they need to survive.”