If you’re not someone who lives with or knows someone who has diabetes, you might not be aware that November is National Diabetes Month. President Joe Biden even officially proclaimed it so this year.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, vision loss, and other serious health problems if not managed properly.
The number of Minnesotans living with diabetes has steadily increased. As of 2020, 8.8% of Minnesota adults, or 380,000 people, were living with diabetes.
The costs for managing diabetes also continue to increase. For example, the price of insulin has more than tripled in the last decade.
As a result of unaffordable prices, many people with diabetes ration their insulin supply – one in four people with diabetes admits to having done it. Over the last couple of years, multiple Minnesotans, including Alec Smith and Jesimya David Scherer-Radcliff, died because they couldn’t afford the skyrocketing cost of insulin.
Given the struggles that Minnesotans with diabetes face and it being National Diabetes Month, we think it’s especially important to highlight the fact that every major conservative candidate for MN governor has worked against efforts to make insulin and health care more affordable for Minnesotans with diabetes. And the proof is in their records.
Michelle Benson was responsible for blocking the Alec Smith Insulin Act to provide emergency insulin to people with diabetes in Minnesota who were struggling to afford the high cost.
In an insensitive Facebook post that same year she also told people with diabetes who were struggling to afford insulin and rationing their medication to just “go to an emergency room” or find coupons.
As a state senator, Michelle Benson also attempted to strip health care away from over 500,000 Minnesotans. And she supports eliminating the Affordable Care Act, which could take health care away from 2.3 million Minnesotans with pre-existing conditions like diabetes.
As a state senator, Scott Jensen voted against providing emergency insulin for Minnesotans with diabetes.
In a story published by Fox 9 news in 2019 talking about emergency insulin legislation, Jensen even admitted that his Minnesota conservatives were controlled by big pharma. Jensen said, “I think the pharmaceutical industry is powerful enough that when they flex their muscles, they make it difficult for things to move forward.”
When Minnesotans with diabetes pleaded with Paul Gazelka to take action to address the skyrocketing cost of insulin, he made weak excuses. Then, like Jensen and Benson, Gazelka ultimately voted against emergency insulin for Minnesotans with diabetes.
Minnesotans with diabetes deserve better
Minnesotans with diabetes, and our families and loved ones, deserve better than Michelle Benson, Scott Jensen, and Paul Gazelka. We deserve leaders who will put us, not big pharma, first.
Sign up now to help us continue holding Benson, Jensen, and Gazelka accountable for putting big pharma ahead of Minnesotans with diabetes.