It’s hard to believe we are seeing the leaves change and heading into the colder months. I have a couple updates for you below on recent happenings at the capitol.
Minnesota insulin patient assistance program
A couple weeks ago, a few of my colleagues presented the Minnesota Insulin Patient Assistance Program that they have been working over the interim. It is a new plan to provide access to insulin for Minnesotans unable to afford the high cost of the life-saving medicine. The program requires insulin drug manufacturers to provide insulin to Minnesota doctors on behalf of their eligible patients. To qualify, Minnesotans with diabetes must have a family income less than 400% of the federal poverty level and not be covered by another state or federal healthcare program such as Medicare, Medicaid or MinnesotaCare.
Under this plan, patients would work through their doctor’s office to acquire free insulin from the manufacturers, fostering stronger doctor-patient relationships. MNsure will have five days to determine eligibility for diabetes patients. Doctors will use the patient eligibility statement to order a 120-day supply of insulin from the preferred manufacturer. Patients remain eligible for the program for one year and can reorder insulin during that time.
Since their presentation of this plan, the Health and Human Services Committee has met to hear from Minnesotans who have had trouble affording insulin due to the rising prices. Conversations will continue as they develop the best possible plan which could be implemented by January 2020.
In the meantime, we are seeing insurance companies, such as Medica, capping insulin prices at $25 for their members. Also, this week MNsure made an announcement that 2020 rates are going down or remaining flat, and every county will have at least two options. It is great to see the results of our efforts to improve health care accessibility and affordability.
This is an important issue in our district, and many of you have voiced your concerns. I will continue to engage in discussions at the Capitol and in our district.
Minnesota Green New Deal
Last month, Gov. Walz reaffirmed his intention to push a Minnesota Green New Deal by using his rule-making authority in order to make Minnesota 100% carbon-free by 2050. Gov. Walz is signaling he doesn’t want to have a conversation with the legislature about solutions. He is doing an end-around the House and Senate while ignoring the voices of Minnesotans who trust elected leaders to represent them.
A Green New Deal will come with consequences and severely impact our communities. Electric vehicles are not affordable to all Minnesotans. Taking care of our environment and working toward a carbon-free energy future is a value all Minnesotans share, and we will keep working for clean air, land and water without extreme proposals.