ST. PAUL, MN (WCCO) — Alexis Stanley is a junior at Concordia University in St. Paul. That’s where she’s busy balancing her time between the classroom and her lacrosse field.
It got more difficult last year when she received the diagnosis she’s also a diabetic.
“I woke up a year and a half ago a whole other person,” explained Stanley. “My life flipped upside down and there’s nothing I can do about it.”
She’s on daily insulin and is constantly checking her blood sugars. That’s also the reality for yoga instructor Katie Scott, whose life was also unexpectedly turned upside down.
“Of course I’m angry, it’s hard not to get emotional about something that you need so desperately,” added Scott.
Their anger is directed towards state lawmakers. The Minnesota House and Senate have yet to come together in conference committee. Both are proposing legislation to guarantee insulin for those who can least afford it.
At a morning news conference at the state capitol, Governor Tim Walz explained, “the deal has not come together. The uncertainty has gone on too long and insulin is not optional.”
Both Stanley and Scott joined the Governor to pressure Senate Republicans to meet with House Democrats and strike a compromise.
Prior to the news conference, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka tweeted his support for the senate’s insulin bill, sponsored by Senator Eric Pratt. It would require drug makers to supply doctors with free insulin for patients who meet certain income levels.
Governor Walz said the senate bill favors drug companies over patients. He wants a joint House and Senate conference committee to work out differences between their respective bills. Walz said he sent a letter to majority Leader Gazelka requesting the names of five Senators for the committee but has received no response.
“Sixteen days since we sent a letter, answer the letter. Do what the House did and what we’re doing publicly. Don’t sit on Twitter from afar and tell us you’re going to do that,” added Walz.
The political back and forth has diabetics like Alexis angry and frustrated. She says the unnecessary delay will only cost more lives.
“We didn’t ask for this and people are profiting off our lives, that’s unacceptable, 100 percent. I’m extremely frustrated,” said Stanley.