Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Duffy on bi-partisan Obamacare deal: 'What kind of reform do we get?'Submitted: 10/19/2017
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

Duffy on bi-partisan Obamacare deal: 'What kind of reform do we get?'
CRANDON - Terri Burl wanted to ask more questions than make comments during Congressman Sean Duffy's town hall in Crandon on Thursday.

"Everybody's in the state of the unknown right now," Burl said.

Burl, a Republican, was thinking of her 26-year-old son in Oshkosh as she asked Duffy (R-Wausau) about health care concerns.  She worries about tax penalties for her uninsured son and the GOP's lack of solid ideas to replace the Affordable Care Act.


"They kept saying, 'We have a plan, we have a plan, all we need is a president who will sign,'" Burl said. "Well, so we have a president who will sign a bill and suddenly they don't have a plan."

Burl's anger seems to have hit the White House, too. This month, President Trump announced he would end the approximately $7 billion payments the government makes to exchanges to keep premiums down. Duffy says Trump -- like Barack Obama -- doesn't have the authority to spend the money in the first place, noting it's Congress that should deal with finances.

"That frustration, I think is boiling right now," Duffy told Newswatch 12 after the Crandon town hall.

Duffy says a bi-partisan deal from Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) and Patty Murray (D-Washington) to extend those payments another two years could work, but there needs to be a trade-off. Duffy wants to get rid of the ACA's insurance requirement for individuals and businesses. He'd also like to send money directly to states in the form of block grants.

"We're different in Wisconsin than people in California or New York or Mississippi, so let us do our own thing," Duffy said. "If you do that, I think we'll be pretty close to a deal."

That kind of deal is one the left-leaning group Citizen Action of Wisconsin would at least listen to.

"Obviously we differ on the block grant idea, I'm not a big fan of that and neither are the members of Citizen Action of Wisconsin," organizer Joel Lewis said. "However, I do agree that the state has the ability to stop the pain from the federal government and Trump's recent executive orders."

Lewis says premiums for people in Rhinelander on exchanges will jump 55-percent in 2018. Lewis points to numbers on the Citizen Action of Wisconsin website that show BadgerCare public-option premiums would cost people 6-percent less than exchanges. He thinks allowing that public option in Wisconsin would save people hundreds of dollars.

"This isn't the working poor that's going to be affected," Lewis said. "This is the upper-middle class and in many cases the folks that voted for Trump."

As the president continues to bounce back and forth between supporting the bi-partisan deal, (Trump went from supporting the deal this week to saying, "I am not going to do anything to enrich the insurance companies.") Duffy is hopeful, but not necessarily confident a deal can be reached.

"If this is a very skinny deal on reform, but large payments to the Obamacare exchanges, I don't think that's going to fly," Duffy said.

Duffy also talked about tax reform on Thursday. He says it's a much simpler fix than Obamacare and doesn't expect any action on health care until after January 1, 2018, despite Alexander saying he expects the bill to become law before year's end.

Duffy held town halls in Eagle River, Crandon, and Florence on Thursday.  He'll be in Ladysmith and Grantsburg on Friday.


Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

EAGLE RIVER - Eight women started a quilting legacy more than 20 years ago. The Cranberry Country Quilt Show comes to Eagle River every two years. However, itswhat the show does all year round that sets it apart.

The Quilting Guild is a nonprofit organization that makes quilts to give to those in need in the department on aging and local women shelters.

"I'd like to find more resources of people that need quilts. For the homeless shelter we make bags with shampoos and soaps and we make as many as we can and they give them to people that need them," said Cranberry Country Quilt Show Chairman Wendy Ahnen. 

Cindy Eggers is an award winning quilter and one of the original members of the guild.This year she was the honoree quilter. She's proud of the impact her quilts make.

"It's wonderful because people respond back with thank you notes for like a baby quilt or maybe their home has been burned. We have a quilt that we can give them when they've lost everything. It's rewarding very rewarding," said Eggers. 

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - The Gem and Mineral show celebrated its 50th year in Minocqua this weekend. While all the vendors there are passionate about their product, one in particular seems to hold his in high regard.

"Basically it's what I thrive on," said Bill Schoenfuss.

Bill Schoenfuss is passionate about his business.

+ Read More

THREE LAKES -  Three people turned tragic accidents into an opportunity to change lives.

"There's always a way to get over any obstacle you think you can't get around," said 27-year-old Anthony Regole. 

Regole found his way around one of the biggest obstacles of his life when he was 16.

"I was in a car accident and that's how I became a T-11 complete paraplegic," said Regole.

However, instead of feeling defeated he found new strength. Now, he and wants to share a piece of his strength with others. Regole started the SpineCore Foundation this year to give people with physical disabilities like 45 year old Pete LaPage a chance to do adaptive outdoors sports with a specialized camp.

"I don't like to be inside I need to be outside!" said LaPage.

24 years ago LaPage dropped off a 20 ft. embankment and broke his back during a three wheeler accident.

"Everyday there's a challenge you find a way to overcome make it a little adventure," said LaPage.
 
Breanna Kinneman started dealing with new challenges just a year ago when she had to have both legs amputated after a car crash. However, being around LePage and Regole showed her there's no reason to slow down.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Minocqua hosted not one, but three different races Saturday. Each run was all a part of the Bear Cupboard Run.

People could participate in a half marathon or 5K. For the younger runners, there was a cubby run. All in all about 500 people participated. 

+ Read More

WISCONSIN RAPIDS - 25 years later and the movie The Sandlot still brings a lot of smiles.

2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the classic film.

To celebrate, actors from the movie are on a mini tour around the U.S.

Scotty Smalls and Tommy Repeat Timmons joined the Wisconsin Rapid Rafters Thursday evening.

"It's hard to believe," said Shane Obedzinski, who played Tommy "Repeat" Timmons in The Sandlot. "It feels like it was yesterday. But it's awesome. We are very very grateful."

The Sandlot actors stopped in Wisconsin Rapids to throw the first pitch at the Rafters game and meet their fans.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - People buying brats in Minocqua Thursday and Friday did more than just filled their stomachs. They helped the area homeless at the same time. 

Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing (NATH) hosted a brat sale fundraiser at the Trig's in Minocqua. The money raised will go towards the Frederick Place, which provides safe housing to those in need. 

+ Read More

Play Video

NORTHWOODS - Local lawn care services hope the rain we saw Friday will give them more business.

We've had 41 days of hot, humid weather this summer. That's more than double than last year.

Those temperatures are taking a toll on our yards.

Owner of "Brian's Fairway Look" Brian Perschon feels right at home behind a lawn mower.

"I just love cutting grass. I love doing it. It's not really work for me," said Perschon.

Perschon noticed the once glossy, green grass is now dry and yellow
Perschon uses fertilizer on the lawns he mows to avoid having to deal with dull grass.

"If you take care of it, it'll take care of you," said Perschon.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here