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How Partisan Gerrymandering Limits Access to Care

 

On February 24, 2020, the Center for American Progress released a report on how gerrymandering has prevented more than 2 million uninsured people from getting covered through the Medicaid expansion. The report analyzes states like Wisconsin that have refused to expand health insurance coverage to low income residents despite a majority of people supporting the idea.  Extreme partisan gerrymandering insulates Republican politicians in legislatures like Wisconsin’s from being held accountable for blocking access to coverage for over a hundred thousand people and sending billions of tax dollars to other states.

 

In the 2018 general election, Wisconsin State Assembly Democratic candidates received 54.2% of the vote, and State Senate Democrats received 49% of the vote, however, Republicans still won a substantial majority in both chambers. Unfortunately, gerrymandering leads to candidates being more extreme and less likely to listen to their constituents once they’re in office, which is the case in Wisconsin. Despite the majority of Wisconsinites wanting expanded health care coverage, the report found that by refusing the expansion Wisconsin has forgone insuring 108,000 people which has resulted in 300 preventable deaths in 2019 alone.

 

The Medicaid expansion would make health care more affordable for everyone. It would reduce the costs of premiums on the individual market, save taxpayers millions of dollars, help keep rural hospitals open, and frankly, save lives. Extreme gerrymandering has held Wisconsin back and has resulted in Wisconsin falling behind neighboring states. It is vital that elected officials work for their constituents and in order for that to happen, voters need to be able to choose their leaders, not the other way around.

 

View the report here. 

 


 

Republicans Increase Penalties Instead of Educational Opportunities

 

Wisconsin’s criminal justice system has some of the worst racial disparities in the country. Years of Republican budget cuts and prisons exceeding capacity have created more dangerous situations for correctional officers, inmates, and communities. Yet, Republicans are continuing to pass legislation to put more people in prisons without increased funding, and refusing to invest in programs that are proven to help reduce our children’s chances of ending up in Wisconsin’s prisons.

 

Read more. 

 

Community Programs and Announcements 

DATCP Update: DATCP's Farm Center Hosting 'Unexpected Tomorrows' Workshops

As part of its efforts to support farmers facing increased stress due to economic challenges, the Wisconsin Farm Center at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is hosting a series of one-day workshops for farmers. These workshops will present opportunities for farmers to hear from others in similar situations as well as learn about stress management techniques and resources available to them. 

Six Unexpected Tomorrows workshops will be held throughout the state this spring and fall:

  • March 12, Wausau
  • March 26, Green Bay
  • April 9, Beaver Dam
  • April 16, Dodgeville
  • November (dates to be determined), La Crosse and Chippewa Falls

Learn more. 

 

DNR Updates: 

 

  • The 2020 elk tag application period begins on March 1st and runs through May 31st.  This fall marks the third elk hunt in state history.
  • With snowmobile fatalities in 2020 having already exceeded the total number of snowmobile deaths in 2019, DNR is reminding snowmobilers to ride responsibly.
  • Updated state, regional and local fishing regulations – geared at providing good fishing opportunities to the public and fulfilling management goals – will go into effect on April 1st.  These updates include a statewide continuous catch-and-release season for bass.
Contacting My Office

Feel free to contact me with any inquiries. Please visit my website for press releases and other Capitol updates.