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Forum covers Medicare, Social Security & Affordable Care ActSubmitted: 08/30/2013
Story By Adam Fox

Forum covers Medicare, Social Security & Affordable Care Act
RHINELANDER - October will be a big month for the Affordable Care Act.

If you don't have insurance, that's when federal exchange plans will be available.

But many Wisconsinites still have questions on how the program will affect them.

That's why seniors met in Rhinelander Friday.The Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans hosted the forum. Billy Feitlinger, executive director of the alliance, discussed Medicare, Social Security and the Affordable Care Act.

His group supports the healthcare reform because it will keep Medicare in the green for an additional nine years.

But some like Gloria Oberneder know people who feel lost in the system.

"Most people who become seniors and are on that low income, if they are not on Medicaid and they do make a little more money, they are always searching for answers for different things and they are confused,"Oberneder said.

Another concern was rising policy cost. A new Rand Corporation study says the reform won't have widespread cost increases for policies.

But experts like Robert Laszewski of the Health Policy & Strategy Associates projected an increase in Wisconsin at a June summit in Wausau.

"Wisconsin is one of the states projected to have the biggest increases," Laszewski said. "That's because the the affordable care act sets very high standards for what package of insurance looks like."

The forum also focused heavily on Social Security. That's because Congress is preparing for another fight over spending cuts and the debt ceiling, and Billy Feitlinger worries Social Security could be targeted.

"There should be some reform to Social Security, but it should not be in the context of the federal deficit or debt ceiling because Social Security hasn't contributed one penny to the federal deficit."

That's because funding for Social Security has always been automatically taken out of our paychecks. But more Baby Boomers are entering the program, and under current obligations the $2.7 trillion fund will run dry by 2033.





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 IN OTHER NEWS

- A Nicolet College club provides a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and allies to socialize and discuss personal issues related to gender and sexual orientation.

However, outside of the campus, there is no supportive group in the Northwoods. Now, the Rainbow Hodags Club is helping to get a community LGBT group started. Club member Don Schindhelm says he wishes a club like this existed years ago.

"I really felt like I didn't know anyone else who was gay or lesbian. It was frowned upon, so I suppressed it for most of my life. That's why I struggled with it for so many years," said Schindhelm.

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RHINELANDER - Most people stop by Rhinelander's chamber of commerce to get their picture taken with the giant hodag out front. Visitors to the chamber can also stock up on Rhinelander trinkets and gear.

Now, the chamber has decided to downsize its store in order to let someone else set up shop. 

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TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins takes pride in his department's connection to the community. 

And many members of the community clearly feel the same way.

Augie's Collectibles owner Richard "Augie" Augustine donated eight ballistic helmets and a shield to the Tomahawk Police Department.

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MINOCQUA - In 2006, more than 40,000 pets died in fires due to smoke inhalation. 

That number has gone down, in large part thanks to oxygen masks designed for animals. 

The Minocqua Fire Department got its own set of pet oxygen masks Tuesday, courtesy of Invisible Fence of Northern Wisconsin.

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VILAS COUNTY - Many people love sightseeing on two wheels throughout the Northwoods. Now, you can get a prize for doing it.

"Bike the Heart" encourages riders to explore the different communities along the Heart of Vilas County Trail.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/23/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll show you a training course for Taylor County deputies and courthouse staff on how to respond with and active shooter in the courthouse.

We'll take you live to Shepard Park in Rhinelander, the site some residents hope will have sections set aside for a dog park. Monday the Parks committed approved the proposal.

And a Nicolet College club provides a safe space for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender students and allies to discuss personal issues. Now they want to get a group started outside the campus. We talk to a member of the Rainbow Hodags Club about his experiences with the group.

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

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RHINELANDER - One Rhinelander woman may see a 10-year-old bucket list wish come true.

On Monday the Rhinelander Parks Committee supported having a dog park at Shepard Park in Rhinelander. 

For 10 years Tina Werres has been advocating to get support for a dog park in Rhinelander.

The decision is now left to the Rhinelander City Council, which is scheduled to vote on June 12.

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