Minnesota Legislature passes insulin affordability bill

The Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate on Tuesday passed an insulin affordability bill. The bill passed by a vote of 111-22 in the House and 67-0 in the Senate.

It comes after leaders of both parties announced an agreement on a bill had been reached last week. Gov. Tim Walz is expected to sign the legislation quickly.

House, Senate leaders reach agreement on insulin affordability bill

The bill will allow access to a 30-day supply of insulin for a co-pay of $35, and uninsured, under-insured and those receiving Medicare will be eligible under the bill. The legislation will also streamline affordable insulin in the long-term and get manufacturers to participate in the program or fine them for non-compliance.

"All Minnesotans will benefit from the passage of this ambitious bill designed to protect those who cannot access insulin," said Sent. Scott Jensen, R-Chaska, chief author of the bill. "Today is a new day in Minnesota for diabetics and this legislation will serve as a springboard for more creatice legislative ideas regarding other expensive, life-sustaining medications. I want to extend thanks to Minnesotans across the state and all the advocates for their commitment to getting this important bill done."

"The fight for affordable insulin shows us the immense power that comes from leading with our humanity and engaging in this fight together," said Rep. Michael Howard, DFL-Richfield, author of the bill. "Despite stiff opposition and deep pockets from those intent on preserving the status quo, a mighty few banded together and became an unstoppable force for good in this world. Thank you to the insulin advocates that have delivered a victory for the people of Minnesota that will save lives."

The bill is known as the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act after Alec Smith died because he couldn’t afford his insulin and rationed it.