Local diabetes advocate to be guest at State of the Union

Pinellas County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A young activist from Tampa Bay has been invited to sit with Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL 13th District) during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in Washington D.C. Tuesday.

Taylor McKenny, 19, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at a young age and has been an advocate for affordable access to insulin and other diabetes treatment.

McKenny says her family has struggled to pay for her medication and nearly went bankrupt.

On Monday, she joined Crist to talk about how lawmakers can help lower prescription drug prices for diabetes patients and hold drug companies accountable.

Last year, Crist supported Elijah E. Cummings’ “Lower Drug Costs Now Act,” which passed 230-192.

The bill allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower drug prices, and caps annual out-of-pocket costs for people in Medicare Part D.

“For too long, Americans have been squeezed by high drug prices, while drug companies make record profits,” said Rep. Crist. “For too long, too many Americans have had to ration their medications, risking illness, injury, and death because their life saving drugs cost too much. But with passage of the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, a new day is dawning, one in which the playing field is leveled, and the buying power of the American people is brought to bear on the pharmaceutical industry, resulting in lower prices for all.”

Now Crist is planning to push legislation that would lower the price of insulin down to Medicaid levels.

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