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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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 06/23/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on what appears to have been a suicide of a Lac du Flambeau woman whose body was found in a Crandon home following a report of a gunshot early Wednesday morning and leaving three people in jail.

At the close of the high school sports season, Lakeland Union High School had the most successful season of all the schools in the Northwoods. We'll review their season and talk with the Athletics Director and two student athletes about the school's success.

And in spite of all the recent rain, a Tomahawk area family is very excited about today's opening of their strawberry farm. We talk to them about the first day and about how the recent rain may affect the berry growth.

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

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TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk Berry Farm opened its gates Friday for the first time this summer.

The morning was what Tom Behling calls the perfect strawberry picking weather.

Behling has owned the Tomahawk Berry Farm for more than 30 years.

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RHINELANDER - All the spring rain this year makes it difficult for people to keep up with their lawns. It is especially hard on those who make their living off lawn care. 
 
Steinmetz Landscape Design has been in business for 35 years. Owner and founder Alan Steinmetz says the amount of rain this season isn't something he's ever seen. 

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker is hitting the road to promote cheese.

Walker announced Friday that economic development officials, members of his cabinet, lawmakers and University of Wisconsin officials will be spreading out across the state to celebrate growing cheese companies.

Walker is kicking off "Wisconsin Cheese Day" on Monday with a stop at Klondike Cheese in Monroe.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Prosecutors think an Oneida County Sheriff's deputy used her job to steal cash, but she could get those charges dropped if she completes a diversion agreement with the court.

Sarah Gardner, 41, also known as Sarah Welcenbach, faces two felony misconduct charges in Oneida County.

According to the criminal complaint, prosecutors believe she paid herself about $1200 from a cash box her office used for drug investigations.

The diversion agreement says Gardner must pay the money back to the Sheriff's Office and complete a six-week accounting course at Nicolet College.

If she does those things, the state can ask to dismiss the case.

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MADISON - A federal judge says Wisconsin's use of solitary confinement in its juvenile prisons poses "acute, immediate and enduring" harm to young inmates and is ordering that it be dramatically scaled back.

U.S. District Judge James Peterson on Friday also ordered that shackling juvenile inmates and the use of pepper spray be used much more sparingly than now.

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Thursday, volunteers faced mosquitos, ticks and rain to conserve 96 acres of land.

The Marshall Wildlife Conservation Center in Lac du Flambeau hosted a volunteer work day to dismantle a deteriorating pier and platform on a new conservation land donation.

Northwoods Land Trust Executive Director Bryan Pierce says the land has a creek and pond with many swans and beavers.

"We're going to be installing a brand new pier, so it will be a real nice wildlife observation area for people to look at the water, the swans and cranes," said Pierce.

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