Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) this week broke down crying while listening to the story of a young woman who has to had to rely on community donors to obtain the insulin that she needs to stay alive.
During a House Oversight Committee hearing on drug prices, Indianapolis resident Sa’ra Skipper testified that she relies upon the kindness of people in her community and her church to help her obtain insulin, a drug whose price has skyrocketed even though it was first developed as a treatment for diabetes nearly a century ago.
Skipper also said that she can’t afford her insulin even though she now has a job that provides her with health insurance.
“I mean, it’s been good, if I want to go to the doctor for like a check-up,” she said of her health insurance. “I’ll go get my teeth cleaned, get some new glasses. You know, go to the gynecologist or anything like that. But for what I actually need to live, it’s just — it’s hard. It’s just really hard.”
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) then asked Skipper to describe what it was like several years ago when her mother lost her job and her family no longer had access to health care.
“Things started to spiral out of control,” she said. “I was really scared. A few months after she lost her job, I was suicidal. Because I just — I didn’t want to continue to struggle. I didn’t know how me and my sister were going to make it. I didn’t know how my mom was even going to be able to provide for herself, losing her coverage. It just put us in a really bad spot.”
After Skipper’s testimony, an emotional Tlaib talked about her own personal struggles with the American health care system.
“I’m the eldest of 14,” she said. “I’ve been taking care of people all my life. When I have emotions, it’s because I’ve seen challenges.”
Watch the video below.
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