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Walz to highlight insulin issue this week

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Gov. Tim Walz is hosting a roundtable discussion at the state Capitol Wednesday on ways to help provide insulin to Minnesotans in need.

The high cost of the drug is a growing problem for many. The issue was left unresolved in last month’s special session. Despite broad support, legislative leaders failed to include a proposal to create an emergency insulin program in the final budget bills.

Walz told reporters Monday that he continues looking at options.

“We’ve been very clear about this. No one in Minnesota should go without lifesaving drugs, especially something as common and as needed as insulin,” Walz said. “We have got to figure out a way to get control on those prices and accessibility. That is our intent to continue to explore that.”

Walz was scheduled to talk later in the day with Nicole Smith-Holt about next steps. Smith-Holt has been a leading advocate on the insulin issue since her son Alec’s death in 2017. He was rationing insulin because he couldn't afford it.

Some legislators have suggested taking up the insulin issue in a special session. DFL House Speaker Melissa Hortman also supports that approach. Walz has not ruled out that option.

Another option for Walz is some type of executive action.

“If inaction is putting people at risk, we always reserve the right to use executive action. We just at this point in time don’t have enough information to say where we’re at,” the governor said.