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

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Statement from House DFL on Senate GOP insulin proposal

Thursday, September 19, 2019

St. Paul, Minnesota — House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Representative Michael Howard, chief author of the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act, released the following statements on the Senate Republican insulin proposal.

“Minnesotans have asked for legislation to provide emergency insulin to those who need it while holding the pharmaceutical industry accountable — which is why the Minnesota House passed the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act,” said Speaker Hortman. “While I appreciate that Senate Republicans have put a proposal forward, it is disappointing that this work was done without input from the advocates most directly impacted by insulin costs and instead with the pharmaceutical industry. House DFLers will continue to hold conversations with community members. We will have any proposed modifications to the legislation we already passed ready for consideration at our hearing on September 26th. We stand ready to partner with the Governor and the Senate to provide an emergency insulin program to Minnesotans as soon as possible.  There is no need to wait until next February for the regular session. Minnesotans need emergency insulin now."

“I am pleased that Senate Republicans now agree that insulin manufacturers should be held financially responsible to ensure that Minnesotans get the insulin they need when they are in crisis,” said Rep. Howard. “That said, while this proposal strives to connect Minnesotans with insurance options that include affordable insulin, it not an emergency insulin program. We must view any legislation through the lens of Minnesotans who are facing a crisis where they cannot afford the insulin they need to live and find a path to quickly get them their life-necessary medication.

“The urgency to address this crisis still remains. I look forward to working together and working quickly to pass an emergency insulin bill that meets the needs of Minnesotans while holding insulin manufacturers accountable to participate in the solution.”