02.04.19

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Announces Guest for State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today announced that retired educator Diane Whitcraft from Webster, Wisconsin, will join her for President Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday. 

Diane has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and had been taking the same medication for more than 23 years. The price of her prescription therapy jumped year after year, and her out of pocket costs were threatening to drain her savings. In 2017, knowing she could no longer afford her medication, Diane made the heart-wrenching decision to stop taking it.

“Drug companies received huge corporate tax breaks from President Trump but they continue to stick Americans with skyrocketing prescription drug prices,” said Senator Baldwin. “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.” 

“I’m grateful to Senator Baldwin for inviting me to attend the State of the Union address and for her tireless work to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for rising drug prices,” said Whitcraft. “No one should have to choose between taking the medication they need and draining their savings, but unfortunately after costs kept going up, my husband and I were faced with that very choice. During his address on Tuesday, I hope President Trump will outline a clear plan to help lower prescription drug costs for Wisconsin families like mine.” 

Senator Baldwin has made addressing skyrocketing prescription drug prices a top priority. Last month, she joined Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to reintroduce the Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Act that would allow for Medicare to negotiate the best possible price of prescription drugs to cut costs for nearly 43 million seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D. Current law only allows for bargaining by pharmaceutical companies and prohibits Medicare from doing so.

Senator Baldwin has also been steadfast in holding pharmaceutical corporations accountable for rising drug costs. Late last year, Baldwin pressed Pfizer to provide an explanation after the pharmaceutical company announced that they intended to increase the costs of 41 prescription drugs starting in January 2019.