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Tampa Bay teen takes fight for affordable diabetic medicine to the State of The Union

Posted at 6:54 PM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-03 18:54:23-05

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A local teen activist is taking her fight for affordable diabetic medication to Washington.

Taylor Mckenny, 19, is attending the State of the Union Address as a guest of U.S. Representative Charlie Crist.

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“It’s hard. The cost for my medication keeps going up,” said McKenny.

She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 9-years-old. She said her family has struggled, nearly going bankrupt to pay for her medication, which she cannot live without.

Sadly, McKenny isn’t alone.

According to the health department, more than 2.3 million Floridians are living with diabetes, and more than half cannot afford their medication.

“To have a financial burden like that is unconscionable,” Rep. Crist said. “The only reason or rational for jacking up the price is to make money. We have to take action to stop it.”

Senate Bill 116 is aimed at capping the monthly cost for insulin at $100, regardless of the type or how much a patient needs.

Tampa Senator Janet Cruz introduced the bill this year, and it has bipartisan support.

That’s great news for McKenny, but she wants to see this done on a national scale.

“I’m going to be moving out to state. It’s gong to be hard to pay for rent, bills, and my medication. I also want to go to school,” she said.

McKenny plans to talk to lawmakers at Tuesday's State of the Union Address.

“I want them to know how difficult it is for people like me,” she said.