Would having your state guarantee insulin access during this time help?

In what way would it/would it not?

How might guaranteed access to insulin impact your current decision making?

Not sure how much it would affect me. My income and insurance is fixed

Insurance is considered a golden rope by many. It is what ties many people to unfulfilling jobs. You have to wonder how many diabetic entrepreneurs have not followed their dreams because of their need for insulin thus their need for good insurance.


So true, Gary. For years, before I even developed diabetes, I was limited as to what jobs I could take because I’ve had another pre-existing condition since I was 30.

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My job is threatened but our insurance is through my wife’s employment at Brigham & Women’s hospital and quite robust, as is her job. So in my individual case, it wouldn’t matter. But I don’t think it’s a bad idea.

It doesn’t impact me because I never tie my insurance to my job, but I have to think that for the vast majority of people, it matters. MN is expecting 40% of people to file for unemployment.

There are already existing programs such as Lilly Cares, that would likely be a better way to implement, maybe with $ support from state or fed for short term.

Those dont work. As far as I know, no one has EVER even reached anyone at those phone numbers. We have referred people, for years. No successes. I dont think anyone even bothers anymore. I would never refer someone there. There are better places than that. ADA has a much better plan. MUCH better. Its good. Trust me. People have been working on this for several years.

The last people in the world I would like to have guarantees from are the Federal, State, local governments or Insurance companies. I will continue to pay out of pocket full price at a fraction of the cost of even my co-pays and buy directly from Canada at 1/10th the US cost for identical insulin from identical manufacturer.


I don’t want them to guarantee the price, it would be nice if they would guarantee that the price is fair.

I think that’s OK if you are in need, but it would not be the right thing to do, or effective, to have everyone in the US, do that.

Its more complicated than that. Nobody has insurance now, quite suddenly. This is a form of emergency triage. Red Cross doesn’t charge people for insulin or care. That’s not how they do biz. They operate outside of traditional healthcare system very effectively. So, they dont set up makeshift Walgreens MASH units and check insurance and ask for prescriptions. They dont have those kinds of resources to accommodate typical healthcare biz practices. They just put supplies into peoples hands and move to the next person. Thats how MASH units work. Its different.

For example, if your apartment building burns down, RC doesn’t have time to make 200 people go through a Walgreens drive through in the middle of the night. RC functions as a middleman in between the hospital and the street. They take patients, evaluate, and remedy what they can to prevent hospitals from getting overwhelmed by providing intermediary care. They do that when its needed and they have done it many, many times, locally.

How can a state do that?

Do what?

How would a state guarantee insulin access? They don’t produce it, they don’t distribute it, they aren’t involved in it in any way— so how could they do that?

They have done it in a variety of ways. I don’t know if its public knowledge, but typically you just get a call asking you to do something. Then, you do it. At least thats how it has worked in the past.

So the phone just rings and the state govt tells someone to ensure that the supply and demand chain of the insulin market remains intact and to guarantee it? Who does the government call to do that?

Sounds rather inadequate

They call trusted people, but also people are selected from trusted communities somewhat randomly. So, nobody ever knows who gets that call until its all said and done. Word spreads, though. They work with large organizations. But, they do it in a variety of ways. I got free insulin all last year. Everybody here did. It depends on what they are doing. What they did last year is not what they will do this year. It will be different. But, it will be similar to things from the past.

Different orgs implement different strategies to meet the same goals.

Ask yourself this, how might diabetics get insulin after a hurricane? Thats one way to imagine it. So, sometimes they work through non-profits and sometimes they work in legislative backrooms. Usually, some combination of the two.

Emergencies happen all the time. Its common. But, all emergencies are unique and somewhat different from one another. So, if you recall 911, there were certain circumstances and problems that were unique. Like, that communications were all broken and different neighboring agencies had trouble working in partnership. They learn from that and adapt their strategies. Then, there are all kinds of people who train in order to do better next time. Lots of the ‘active shooter’ incidents had their own set of unique challenges. This one will be unique also. But, in some ways it is very similar to things that people train for all the time. In some ways its just another mass casualty incident, which people have trained for since Columbine. In some ways, its like a hurricane.

As we speak the state governments are collaborating and moving food around. No one is going to run out of food. We have large supply chain networks that collaborates with gov, of course.

Does that make sense?

So, lets take myself as an example. Its possible that Red Cross would call me if things get bad and ask me to work a MASH unit because I have lots of experience with that. Now, I think its unlikely that they call me because I haven’t done that in a long time and because I have chronic conditions, I am at higher risk and am unlikely to show up, even if they asked. Everybody in town knows I’m diabetic and I doubt they would even ask. The last thing that they want is responders becoming patients. That just makes things worse. But, I would have no problem working a makeshift morgue, if that’s what they needed. I’m qualified for that.

If your wondering when you might get a call like that, think about what it is that you do, have done, and what organizations within your community you contribute time and expertise to. Sometimes people get called to do strange, somewhat unexpected things that have nothing to do with what you normally do - they just need a body they trust.

I know that I am, personally, getting a lot of calls lately. I am also making a lot of calls to others. People call people they trust during times like these. They want to gear up their social networks. How might that play a role in emergency planning at an individual level and at a state one?

Diabetics on this site are all checkin’ in with one another and ensuring that people have the supplies that they need. They are also using one another as trusted individuals to walk through this situation and process what is going on. Thats part of why I am asking this question of you all, because I know you and I trust you. Large state and nonprofit organizations do that, too.

Part of what I’m asking is DO YOU EXPECT TO MAINTAIN YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE and over what time period? 2 months? What if things get worse and you can’t work? 4 months? 6 months? What if both you and your spouse get sick?

I think diabetics are a good sample of the population at large because they are in real trouble without health insurance. Diabetics might be less likely to work during this period and more likely to bunker down, making them a good sample for lots of diverse chronic illness communities.

Does that help clarify?

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Well I don’t know how it works now, but in 1994, was on MDI.
There was a big earthquake that caused my apartment to collapse onto the parking garage. No one in my apartment was hurt but a few blocks away some people were killed.
Any way, I got off track.
I ran out of my apartment with no wallet no insulin no money. I couldn’t see anything cause the emergency power failed. When I got outside I realized I didn’t have insulin but the fire department already blocked the entrances and wouldn’t let anyone in. , I was on ultra Lente insulin so I was ok for that time but was afraid to eat.