Minnesota Senator Tina Smith recently visited Children’s Minnesota to discuss issues that face families with kids suffering from childhood diabetes. Her visit included meetings with a patient family, representatives from our advocacy team and experts from our diabetes clinic.
“Diabetic patients should have access to resources and tools to help improve their quality of life regardless of their financial situation,” said Senator Smith during the discussions. “We have a lot of work to do and we are proud to partner with Children’s experts to identify solutions that will help families and patients.”
Senator Smith recently introduced a bipartisan bill to address emergency insulin access. Through her visit to Children’s, she gained a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by young patients and families who may have difficulty affording insulin and other vital supplies due to the limitations of insurance coverage. She also spoke with diabetes physicians, educators and pharmacists at Children’s who are diligently working to find solutions to provide better care for diabetic patients.
Recent studies have shown that 1 in 4 diabetic patients ration insulin, putting them at high risk. Furthermore, the price of insulin in the U.S. has more than tripled in the last decade.
“Right now, my son is still eleven and on our insurance, but what happens when he’s older?” said Jennifer Rooney, a parent of a Children’s patient. “By the time he goes off our insurance, he could be spending astronomical amounts of money just to live.”