Questions raised about GOP insulin plan

Published 7:44 am Tuesday, September 24, 2019

By Mohamed Ibrahim

MPR News/90.1 FM

People struggling with the cost of insulin and others voiced concerns about a Republican proposal aimed at making the medication more accessible and affordable.

Email newsletter signup

The questions came as the Senate Human Services Finance and Policy Committee held the first hearing on the proposal Monday.

The plan from Sen. Eric Pratt, R-Prior Lake, and other Senate Republicans, is designed to help increase access to insulin for those who can’t afford it.

“The intent is not to replace insurance, undo the impact of last session’s legislation, or really undo any of the existing assistance programs,” Pratt said at the hearing. “This program addresses the issue of insulin affordability.”

The proposal would require manufacturers to supply health care providers with insulin at no cost. Physicians would then prescribe the insulin directly to individuals who are eligible based on income requirements.

To be eligible, people must have a family income less than 400 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, which is about $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for a family of four.

Some at the hearing raised concerns about the proposal, including its lack of access for rural patients and the five-day waiting period between applying for the program and being determined eligible.