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Former NW Wis. Teacher to Attend State of the Union

Updated: February 04, 2019 06:00 PM

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A former northwestern Wisconsin teacher will attend President Donald Trump's State of the Union address as Sen. Tammy Baldwin's guest.

The Wisconsin Democrat invited Diane Whitcraft of Webster to Tuesday's speech to highlight Whitcraft's difficulty paying for prescription medication to treat her multiple sclerosis.  In 2017, Whitcraft decided to stop taking the medication after 23 years because she could no longer afford it.

"Drug companies received huge corporate tax breaks from President Trump but they continue to stick Americans with skyrocketing prescription drug prices," Baldwin said in a news release. "I've heard from countless Wisconsinites like Diane who can't afford the medicine they have relied on for years. They want Washington to act and it is past time for President Trump to keep his promise to work with Congress on real legislative solutions. We need to help Wisconsin families get the medication they need, at a price they can afford."

Baldwin is co-sponsoring a bill by Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar that would allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices.  Minnesota's Tina Smith and Michigan's Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow are also among 33 Democrats co-sponsoring the legislation.

Klobuchar's choice of guest for the State of the Union also highlights the prescription drug issue.  Twin Cities resident Nicole Smith-Holt's son died from diabetic ketoacidosis because he struggled to afford his insulin prescription.

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