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Walz signs affordable insulin bill

Apr 16, 2020 06:02AM ● By Editor

Photo: MPR

By Brian Bakst of MPR News - April 15, 2020


Minnesota now has one of the nation’s first programs to guarantee access to affordable insulin.

Gov. Tim Walz signed a compromise measure Wednesday a day after the Legislature passed it by wide margins.

After the law takes effect in July, people struggling to afford the medication will have access to 30-day supplies with a small co-pay. Those with deeper financial issues can tap into a long-term program. Drugmakers that don’t make affordable insulin available will face steep fines.

Walz said the law is a bright spot in a tough time and came from considerable negotiation.

Governor Walz on computer screen
Gov. Tim Walz took part in a virtual signing ceremony of the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act on Wednesday. Photo: Brian Bakst | MPR News

He used a virtual signing ceremony to pay tribute to the work of those who saw the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act across the finish line. The legislation is named after a young man who died while rationing insulin in 2017.

After signing the bill Walz held up a personalized sharpie next to a can of Clorox wipes. He promised to get the pen to Nicole Smith-Holt, Alec Smith’s mother.

"I will be disinfecting this pen and getting it to you," he said, a nod to the other health crisis front and center.

“I truly believe Alec was watching and working some magic to make this happen,” Nicole Smith-Holt said. “I often think of him as a sacrificial lamb in this situation. I think of him giving his life so that others could benefit. So that others could see that insulin affordability is truly a crisis and something must be done.”


To read the original story and see related reporting, follow this link to the MPR News website. https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/04/15/walz-signs-affordable-insulin-bill

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