State should rush to help insulin users

Gov. Tim Walz indicated last week he would be willing to call a special session to pass an emergency insulin access bill to help insulin users who can’t afford the skyrocketing cost of their insulin, or their deductibles. But before he does there has to be bipartisan support for the plan.

The bill came oh-so-close to passing in the waning hours of the legislative session, but somewhere in the scramble it got left behind.

The problem is a big one for a growing number of people. The cost of insulin has increased 1,200 percent in recent years, making it much more difficult for diabetics who need to inject it every day to stay alive. Walz says the state should hold the three giant pharmaceutical companies that make most of the insulin accountable for the cost of the emergency program. Republicans, however, are reluctant to place fees on the manufacturers who are reaping the profits from their higher costs, and would have the state taxpayers pick up the costs.

People have died, or been hospitalized, because they couldn’t afford to pay for the insulin they need to stay healthy.

Our legislators should be rushing to create the agreement and pushing the governor to call a special session as soon as possible to save the lives of those dependent on insulin.