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Nicole's Work Is Never Done



This is also about adults, about union members, about men and women out of work giving them workforce development and apprenticeships so that they can get good, high-paying jobs and provide for their family. There is nothing on the domestic front that I believe will have a longer lasting legacy in your presidency than if and when we get this done together. So thank you for that.




nicole's work is never done


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I go back in time. I go back to the saddest day in the United States Senate for me, and that was the morning of the vote on background checks. That was years before. That was after that Sandy Hook shooting. Those families were there, and I had been working with some of the senators who were leading that bill. And I had to tell them that morning those parents who had lost their kids, their elementary school age kids in that school that we didn't have enough votes to pass that bill. And I remember one of the moms said to me, she said, you know, I'll never forget that day. I'll never forget the last time I saw my son alive. He had severe autism so he really couldn't speak but every morning he would point at the picture of the school aide that he loved so much that would never leave his side because he loved her and he would point at her picture on our refrigerator. And that's what happened that last day when she saw him alive. And then he went to school and then just a few hours later she was waiting in that firehouse with all of those parents. And one by one those children came into that firehouse and pretty soon the parents that were left, they knew they would never see their babies again. And as she is sobbing in that firehouse, she has this fleeting moment where she thinks of that teacher, that school aide. And she knows at that moment that that school aide would never leave the side of her little boy. And when they found them both shot to death, that school aide had her arms around take little boy -- around that little boy.


It is time to bring back this bill or pass one of the many versions that are out there. The last area that I'm going to bring up -- and there are many other things. I mentioned climate change, immigration reform, but the reason I am focusing on these things, gun safety, for the obvious reason, as well as election security and prescription drugs, because these bills are things that have passed the House of Representatives. They're something that we could do right now. So what about prescription drugs? Well, it feels like years ago now, but it was actually just last January when i went to the state of the union with my guest, Nicole Smith Holt. Nicole's son aleck was a 26-year-old. He was a restaurant manager in the suburbs of Minneapolis-St. Paul. He had aged off his parents' insurance. Three days short of his payday, a hardworking kid, he wasn't able to afford his insulin. He was diabetic, pretty severe diabetic. So he did what so many diabetics are doing right now because of that incredible cost of insulin. He started rationing it. He saved it. He took less than he was supposed to take. I have talked to seniors who literally keep the injectors with those precious drops of insulin so they can use them the next day. Well, when aleck tried it, tragically it didn't work. He died. A restaurant manager. This should never happen in the United States of America. Not with a simple drug, that's insulin, that has been around for nearly a century. So I brought his mom with me to that state of the union. She is sitting right up there, looking down at the president while he had claimed, of course, many times that he's going to do something about the prices of pharmaceuticals. And I would say those who are blocking and slow-walking bipartisan legislation to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, I think that they should give Nicole a call, because she is smart, she is pretty straightforward, she is a nice person, and listen to her story.


The third one I would suggest, which is a bill that I first introduced with Senator McCain, who we all miss very much, which would allow Americans to bring in less expensive drugs from Canada. You could do it with other countries as well. We know that those drug prices in Canada are so much less expensive than they are in the United States. States have tried to do this on their own, states like Maine, but they said no, you have to have a federal law to make this really work. Individuals have tried to do it. Bus tours of seniors go up there. We had bipartisan support for this in Minnesota. Former Governor Pawlenty supported changing this bill, but we couldn't do it as a state. It really has to be done on the federal level. I am also pleased that Senator Grassley has now stepped into Senator McCain's views and is carrying this bill for me. He is the chair of the Senate Finance committee, so there is no reason that we shouldn't be able to call this bill up for a vote. 041b061a72


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