GOP Republican Senate Candidate Jason Lewis on Families Struggling to Afford Insulin: ‘Government Is Not Compassionate’ and ‘If You Need Help, Go Out And Find It’’

ST. PAUL [10/15/20]–At a time when millions of Americans and businesses are struggling to stay afloat during a global pandemic, Republican Senate candidate Jason Lewis’ past comments about health care, and Americans struggling to afford insulin, illustrate his complete lack of empathy and understanding of what it’s like for families in Minnesota and across America. While host of the Jason Lewis Show, Lewis made clear that he opposes efforts to ensure that people with diabetes have access to affordable insulin. When faced with that question, he said “government should be out of the picture,” and “If you need help, go out and find it.”

In a rant on his show, Lewis also made fun of parents calling in about their children’s health problems:

“What about my kid with juvenile diabetes?’ ‘What about my kid with an eye problem?’ ‘What about my kid who’s sick?’ ‘What am I gonna do if I can’t afford your wonderful free market?’ Well, then you’re gonna go ask for help. But why does that help have to come from government? We never bother to ask this, do we? If in fact somebody is in dire straits, if you’ve got a poor family, if you can’t afford this or you can’t afford that, whether it’s health insurance or an automobile or an education, people all — today people have a knee-jerk reaction: ‘Well, that’s why we have government.’ No it isn’t! Government should be out of the picture. We could have a fraternal society, we could have a nonprofit — where are the churches? How many times are we told that churches are there to help us? We tithe. We give our money every Sunday. Why aren’t churches providing health insurance? Why isn’t your nonprofit providing health insurance? […] What I’m saying is, government shouldn’t enter the equation. Government is not a charitable clearing house. Government is not compassion. Government is not empathy. Government is justice, period. It keeps us free. If you need help, go out and find it.”

While Lewis talks, U.S. Senator Tina Smith gets to work on helping to lower the price of prescription drugs, including insulin. The Star Tribune Editorial Board highlighted Sen. Smith’s work in this space in their recent endorsement. Sen. Smith wrote the bipartisan bill, now law Protecting Access to Biosimilars Act, which helps lower the price of insulin and bring low-cost insulin products to the market. Sen. Smith also has teamed up with Republican Senator Kevin Cramer to introduce the Emergency Access to Insulin Act, which would bring down the cost of insulin and hold manufacturers accountable for extreme increases in the price of insulin and other necessary pharmaceuticals.

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