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Tiffany, Church propose limited government healthcare solutions; Zunker touts public optionSubmitted: 02/06/2020
Dan Hagen
Dan Hagen
Reporter/Anchor
dhagen@wjfw.com

Tiffany, Church propose limited government healthcare solutions; Zunker touts public option
WAUSAU - On Feb. 18, thousands of Northern Wisconsinites will cast their ballots in the Special Election Primary. Thursday, Republicans Jason Church and State Senator Tom Tiffany debated on Wisconsin Public Radio.

Topics ranged from the national debt to immigration reform. On healthcare, both Church and Tiffany discussed limited government solutions. Church said his frustrating experience with the VA makes him skeptical of single-payer health insurance.

"The thought of this system being extrapolated on the entire country is frightening because at the end of the day the problem is you have providers that are not accountable to a patient, but accountable to a bureaucrat in Washington," said Church. "The solutions lie in more price transparency."


Church said allowing patients to be more informed on the healthcare costs will lead to higher quality care and better prices.

Tiffany shared Church's beliefs on the lack of merits to Medicare-for-all. The state senator said he would work to make healthcare more localized.

"This cookie cutter approach from the federal level will not work," said Tiffany. "That's why we need to allow more local options, allow direct primary care, take some of the regulations away from associated health plans so perhaps the local Chambers of Commerce can pool businesses together."

Both spoke about expanding telehealth to the benefit of rural areas.

Democratic candidate Tricia Zunker spoke to students at Horace Mann Middle School in Wausau Thursday. She addressed leadership, and the importance of community involvement.

On the topic of healthcare, Zunker told Newswatch 12 that healthcare should be a right and limited government solutions will not be enough to make that happen.

She supports a public health insurance option.

"Because not everyone has access to private insurance," said Zunker. "And people get sick. That is a reality. No one should die because they can't get to a doctor. No one should go bankrupt because of a medical emergency. We need to have a public option for those that want it and those that need it."

Under the public option plan, government-run health insurance would still compete with private insurance. Zunker's primary opponent Lawrence Dale favors a medicare-for-all plan.

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Mitchell Durst, 74, has watched the job losses from the sidelines as a retired mathematician in Keyser, West Virginia.

He was already cautious about going out because of a compromised immune system from cancer treatments. The disease stopped his weekly poker game. He lived through the polio crisis, dealt with gas rationing during the 1970s and worked in Nigeria during the Ebola scare.

He calculates the United States will need to be patient about an economic comeback.

"Until we have a vaccine, particularly for those folks at risk, it's going to be awhile," Durst said. "If we get something in two years, if we're so fortunate to be able to do that, I think that would be fantastic."

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The AP-NORC poll of 1,056 adults was conducted May 14-18 using a sample drawn from NORC's probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.

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