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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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He gotten started thanks to SurfSCONSIN's Mike Scandin and Chad Baker.

"Just appreciate the power the wave has. They don't have to work that hard. It is just that balanced motion," said Scandin.

Nearly every day for the last two summers, Chad drives the boat while Mike coaches.

The boat goes at a low speed to create the perfect wave and that keeps your body from taking a beating.

"Everybody is getting older. Everyone feels those aches and pains. You just don't have those major wipeouts," said Baker.

The key to wake surfing is the boat does all the work.

Friends Erik Quamme and Chad Scott are two of SurfSCONSIN's newest surfers.

They're still pretty new at riding, but both say it's the coaching that's helped them learn fast.

"Mike is sitting there telling you to move your left foot forward or scrunch your toes forward," said Quamme.

"If Erik and I had a boat and a couple of boards-- it could take days to figure out foot placement and rope length," said Scott.

You can catch 12-year-surfer Mark Mapes with Mike and Chad almost every day, sometimes showing off a trick or two.

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"You can talk to each other, the boat is moving slow you can hear. You can talk to the surfer back there," said Mapes.

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On Sunday he spent the day giving free water skiing and wakeboarding lessons.

"[To] get someone new out there to ski or at least get them attempting. It's always fun when you get the kids who are a little nervous out there and a little shaky, then they get out there and they love it," said Blanchard. 

Blanchard said every year the water sports community chooses a day to give back and participate in "International Pass the Handle Day."

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