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Minnesota senator to introduce bill for emergency insulin access

June 22, 2019 09:44 AM

A new bill would provide emergency access to insulin for Minnesotans who need it.

Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) said legislation plans to introduce it next week. It would give states the authority to create a state-based system to provide emergency access to insulin for people across the country.

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Smith was joined Friday by Minnesotans who say it's a matter of life and death. One woman said she lost her son because he was rationing his medicine, and a 19-year-old woman said she's working 50 hours per week just to be able to afford her insulin.

"I have friends and family who use that saying as well, 'Yeah, I just need to make enough money to get by.' But in this case, I truly am committing nearly my entire day, 7 days a week, to afford a medication that keeps me alive," the woman said.

According to the Health Care Cost Institute, the average price of insulin nearly doubled between 2012 and 2016. Smith said her bill will hold insulin manufacturers accountable for excessive increases in the price.

"We pay for this by requiring insulin manufacturers to pay for emergency supplies by charging them a fee and a recurring tax," Smith said.

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