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In This Edition...

  • Explaining Medicaid Expansion

  • June is Dairy Month

  • Road Construction on Eisenhower Drive

  • Task Force on Adoption

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Ron's Recap: June 7, 2019  

 

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Congratulations to Kyra Hietpas, a senior at Little Chute High School, for winning outstanding lead actress at the Center State High School Musical Theater Awards last month! She will travel to New York to attend the National High School Musical Theater Awards, also known as the Jimmy Awards, on June 24th. From my office and on behalf of the 3rd Assembly District, we wish you all the best at the competition in New York!

 Medicaid Expansion

Unfortunately, there is misleading information circulating about Governor Evers’ proposal for Medicaid Expansion that I would like to specifically address.

Wisconsin has some of the best healthcare coverage in the nation.  Wisconsin’s uninsured rate is #9 best in the nation (about 5% uninsured). In fact, according to a January report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, the national uninsured rate is climbing but Wisconsin’s rate is holding steady.

We pride ourselves on our cutting edge technology and providing the best care to those who need it. We also do a great job providing low cost healthcare to the most vulnerable members of our society.  

To date, 36 states have accepted Medicaid Expansion. Expansion, however, comes at a cost to those with private health insurance. Moving more individuals from private insurance, which pays 100% of medical costs to Medicaid, which reimburses less than 60% of medical costs, will shift the burden to private payers and result in increased costs. In states that took expansion, private sector healthcare costs increased by about $177 per person according to a study conducted earlier this year by the UW Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty.

 

States which have expanded Medicaid continue to experience shortfalls, even with a higher federal reimbursement rate.  Minnesota expanded its Medicaid eligibility and has had to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to drive down soaring premium rates for individuals with private insurance.  In Rhode Island, the governor is proposing a 10% payroll tax on businesses to help the state fund its Medicaid expansion. This kind of a tax fundamentally disadvantages lower-income workers by discouraging businesses from hiring them due to the cost burden.

Providing individuals opportunities to enroll in private health insurance through the Affordable Care Act exchanges is an alternative to Medicaid expansion. Increasing the number of able-bodied adults on welfare at a time when unemployment is under 3% and employers are starving for workers does not make sense. Many employers offer excellent healthcare benefits. As demand for workers continues to grow, companies will offer better and more lucrative benefits, including competitive healthcare plans, to attract employees.

I want to continue to protect the vulnerable, connect individuals with employers and programs they already qualify, keep businesses interested in hiring and covering low-income individuals, and maintain a balanced state budget. Click here to watch my video about Medicaid Expansion.  

 June is Dairy Month

June is Dairy Month in Wisconsin! This month, we celebrate Wisconsin's vibrant dairy industry. Here are few fast facts about the Wisconsin dairy industry:
• 95% of Wisconsin dairy farms are family owned
• Wisconsin averages 150 cows per herd, which is well below the U.S. average of 251
• 23% of the total dairy farms in the U.S. are in Wisconsin
• The Wisconsin dairy industry generates $43.4 billion each year for the state's economy
Enjoy dairy month and thank you to our hard working farmers!

 

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Eisenhower Drive to close June 10-14 for Repaving

Eisenhower Drive will be closed to traffic from June 10-14. Construction crews will work these five days to repave the road surface. Administrator, Tony Brown reports that: "This schedule will save us money as the contractor can go full bore until the project is completed." 

Please keep this closure in mind during this time period and plan an alternative route if you plan to travel in that area. 

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Task Force on Adoption

I am honored to have been chosen for the Task Force on Adoption. The special bipartisan committee will focus on addressing the barriers facing biological and adoptive parents in the adoption process. 

The task force will: 

  • Examine the termination of parental rights
  • Identify ways to shorten the timeline for adoptions
  • Evaluate the costs of adoption and ways to reduce the amount
  • Increase awareness and resources pertaining to adoption

The Task Force on Adoption will hold several public hearings around the state in the upcoming months. Any policy recommendations are expected to be made this summer so that lawmakers can consider potential legislation in the fall.

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