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Wis. Sen. Johnson still pushing to repeal ObamacareSubmitted: 11/17/2013
Story By Adam Fox


CRANDON - Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson focused on President Obama's healthcare law at the Northwoods Republican Counties Coalition meeting in Crandon Saturday.

It was the first meeting of the Republican Parties of Forest, Florence, Marinette, Oneida, Vilas and Oconto Counties.

Johnson spoke to the crowd saying he believes the free market would do a better job of keeping healthcare costs down.

But public and private health care spending in the U.S. has increased from $1.6 trillion dollars in 2000 to $2.6 trillion in 2011, which was before the president's healthcare roll out, according to the American Medical Association.

But Johnson blames some of those increases on the way the government pays hospitals.

"The government's paying about half and they are underpaying providers," Johnson said. "Those providers are forced to shift those costs so they can stay in business, so we actually have access to healthcare."

In 2011, The U.S. spent 17.7 percent of its GDP on Healthcare, according to The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. That means one out of every five dollars in the U.S. economy is for health care.

That's why Johnson says there are problems, but he believes Obama's health law isn't the solution.


"Growing governments influence into our healthcare is just the wrong direction," Johnson said. "I'm not saying our healthcare system is perfect, but as we are seeing right now the high risk pools were a whole lot better than the healthcare exchanges."

Federal officials continue to fix glitches on the online federal exchange.

The issues have caused fewer than 900 Wisconsinites to sign up for healthcare coverage.

But Democrats like Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin believe the exchange will help, once the glitches are fixed.






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 IN OTHER NEWS

TOMAH - A dentist has resigned from his position at a Wisconsin Veterans Affairs hospital amid accusations he treated hundreds of patients with improperly cleaned equipment.

The VA hospital in Tomah, Wisconsin, announced the dentist's resignation Friday, ahead of a scheduled Monday meeting of a panel used in situations that could warrant firing.

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RHINELANDER - It seems to happen every winter. The first few snowfalls of the year trigger slides, slips, and rollovers as drivers readjust to winter driving conditions. 

On Monday, a driver swerved near Rhinelander and rolled over by Highway 17, according to an officer on the scene. 

Oneida County Patrol Captain Lloyd Gauthier wants to remind drivers to be extra cautious this winter.

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RHINELANDER - The Crescent Fire Department spent years trying to find a good place for a town pavilion. It turns out the best spot was right in its own backyard.

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LAND O' LAKES - Eric Hedberg dreams of more than a white Christmas.

"Everyone gathered around the tree watching Christmas movies, exchanging presents, taking my new niece sledding down the hill outside," said Hedberg.

This Christmas, the 17-year-old from Land O' Lakes wants his family together because this holiday is one that, six months ago, he wasn't sure if he would see.

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LINCOLN COUNTY - Prosecutors often struggle to turn a "He said, She said" case into a trial.

But the Lincoln County District Attorney's Office thinks it has enough to send a Merrill Police and Fire Commission member to prison.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says he's open to having the state help pay for a new juvenile corrections center in Milwaukee County.

Currently, the state's two secure juvenile facilities share a campus north of Wausau. Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls have been under criminal investigation for allegations of prisoner abuse and child neglect.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 12/05/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

This holiday season, a Land O' Lakes teen with Gitelman syndrome dreams of more than a white Christmas. He wants his family together in a home that currently needs a lot of work. We'll show you how the community has come together to help make that dream come true.

Beginning tomorrow, traffic will be slowed down on part of Highway 51 in Lincoln County as crews work on beam guards. We'll tell you where the work is being done and how long it's expected to take.

And we'll show you an accident in the Rhinelander area that was a result of snowy road conditions and tell you what to watch out for while driving on the roads this winter.

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

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