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Experts talk healthcareSubmitted: 06/14/2013
Experts talk healthcare
Story By Adam Fox

WAUSAU - Getting straight answers out of politicians doesn't happen too often, especially when it comes to something as controversial as health care reform.

But Thursday in Wausau, both proponents and opponents of Obamacare worked together to explain how federal changes will affect you here in Wisconsin.

People who started with computers and phones, turned to note taking with pen and paper.

David Riemer works for a Milwaukee institute trying to solve America's healthcare issues.

He says people need to listen up before the exchange starts in October.

"This new system may be a little complicated at first," Riemer said. "Some people will be making choices they didn't have to make before. "

The exchange in Wisconsin and 34 other states is a private insurance pool facilitated by the federal government.

People above the poverty line without insurance can find insurance options there.

The overarching theme from the evening was that regardless of your position on the Affordable Care Act, you are to have to work with it.

"It is going to be implemented and we have to do the best job to make it work," said Rob Laszewski.

Rob Laszewski assists companies with health insurance decisions.

He says people in Wisconsin should expect premium increases, especially for those planning to use the exchange.

"Wisconsin is one of the states projected to have the biggest increases," Laszewski said. "That is because the Affordable Care Act sets very high standards for what a package of insurance looks like."

A high standard that will hopefully fix the health care problem in America.



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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/16/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on a fire at Dolhun Field in Lake Tomahawk last night that required eight different fire departments and destroyed a storage hangar.

We talk to a council member of a Merrill church about their pastor who was seriously injured in a semi-truck/pickup truck accident on Highway 8 near Rhinelander Friday afternoon, and we'll update you on the pastor's condition.

And the Town of Presque Isle is now grooming their cross country ski trails that they hope will bring more people into town.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - A fire in Lake Tomahawk's Dolhun Field Monday night left a storage hangar destroyed. About eight different fire departments worked for hours to put out the flames.

Lake Tomahawk Fire Chief Doug Rehm says the department was called to the fire just before 8 p.m.

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MADISON - Governor Scott Walker wants to close Wisconsin's youth prisons in Lincoln County earlier than first planned.

Walker is urging the Legislature to adopt his plan to close the Lincoln Hills-Copper Lake juvenile facility at Irma this spring, rather than 18 months from now.

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MERRILL - One Merrill art teacher spends her weekends painting a giant Bucky the Badger statue inside her classroom.

She was chosen to participate in a free public art event featuring 100 life-size statues of Bucky.

"Right now he's six foot six inches and he weighs about 150 pounds," said Merrill Middle School art teacher Christy Rasmussen.

Rasmussen will help make this Spring's "Bucky on Parade" free public outdoor art event a success.
"It's a tourism draw for people," said Rasmussen.

The parade will consist of 100 giant Buckys hitting the streets of Madison and Dane County this spring all decorated by Wisconsin artists.

"Being an art teacher I thought how fun it would be for my kids to be involved," said Rasmussen.

"I was like what is that," said one of Rasmussen's students, Hailey Nowack.

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WAUSAU - Severe flu cases don't seem as common here in Northern Wisconsin as other places across the country.

But that could easily change and hospitals here are prepared if it does. 

Infection Control Manager Jeanine Bresnahan says the number of hospitalized flu patients has increased at Aspirus Wausau Hospital in the last two weeks. 

They're not seeing the high number of patients some other hospitals across the nation are, but they do have a plan in place just in case. 

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Not everyone enjoys the sub-zero temperatures we've seen across the Northwoods recently.

But for ice fishermen, that means better ice conditions.

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MILWAUKEE - Wisconsin farmers produced smaller corn and soybean crops last year than in 2016, while potato production was up slightly.

The Agriculture Department reports that the state's soybean production was down 6 percent and grain corn production was down 11 percent. Alfalfa hay production was down 19 percent.

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