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.
WISCONSIN - Coronavirus cases are on the rise globally as well -- further stressing the global supply chain for personal protective equipment. Newswatch 12 spoke with Senator Tammy Baldwin on Wednesday. She called the lack of federal response to COVID-19 inexcusable.
"I think about how different things would've been today if in the earliest days President Trump had used the something called the Defense Production Act," said Baldwin.
Senator Baldwin argues this would've made sure all the personal protection equipment we needed would have been produced. She says different hospitals and health care facilities have been competing over the same equipment.
MERRILL - Merrill Paramedics are getting an upgrade to EMT's skill set with Rapid Sequential Intubation.
The procedure requires two paramedics to complete and begins with administering a sedative and paralytic medication.
From their paramedics are able to properly insert a breathing tube and begin ventilation.
Merrill paramedics predict RSI will do more than support critical conditioned patients with oxygen flow, it could save their life.
The difference with the Merrill Rapid Sequential Intubation system is we have the ability to actually sedate and paralyze the patient that is conscious so we can take over control of their breathing and their airway for them and provide them the oxygen and ventilation that they need to support life," Merrill Firefighter and Paramedic, Chris Clabots said.
ONEIDA COUNTY - As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow throughout the state, the Oneida County Health Department is proactively looking to partner with local businesses to assist with contact tracing efforts.
MADISON - Public health officials are closing indoor service at bars in Madison as the Fourth of July weekend approaches and as the number of coronavirus cases accelerate, many involving young people in Wisconsin's largest college community.
MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds those celebrating the Fourth of July that fireworks are prohibited on all DNR lands. Prohibited areas include state parks and forests as well as state-owned public hunting and fishing properties.
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