Insulin: Open hearings to allow public input

Published 5:21 am Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Free Press, Mankato

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

The public health emergency surrounding the inability of diabetics to afford insulin continues as Minnesota Democrats and Republicans argue over an emergency insulin program.

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Providing insulin through an emergency program should not be a partisan issue.

A working group of Democrats and Republicans at the Minnesota Legislature has been meeting for 30 days and have been unable to come up with a compromise. This comes after they were unable to pass a plan during the regular legislative session that ended in May.

Gov. Tim Walz has now called for public hearings on the subject so legislators can hear from people affected by the problem and from their constituents.

We urge legislative leaders to set up the meetings, as nothing else seems to be working.

The main points of disagreement appear to be how the program would be paid for and how it would be delivered. We favor Democrats’ plan to mostly have pharmaceutical companies pay for it, as they must take responsibility for the outrageous 300 percent price increase since 2002. But if the state needs to chip in to set up user-friendly distribution networks, that’s fair.