KATHLEEN VINEHOUT
PEOPLE FIRST

Audit Shows Riders Received Poor Services: Elderly and Disabled Stranded When Company Did Not Deliver Rides

“Just how many ‘no shows’ are acceptable?” I asked Medicaid Director Kevin Moore at a recent Audit Committee Hearing. “Is 4,154 people left without a ride too many?”

Wisconsin needs a different system for getting seriously ill elderly and disabled to their medical appointments. A recent audit showed poor services provided by a private company contracted to give rides to some elderly and disabled.

A Rock County resident arranged for a wheelchair van. But the vehicle sent did not have a wheelchair lift. The wheelchair bound person missed their appointment. A developmentally disabled Dane County person walked home in a thunderstorm after being stranded at the clinic. A paralyzed Richland County resident could not get a ride to a surgery appointment.
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Teacher Shortage: Who Will Teach the Children?

“Please sound the alarm,” Superintendent Mary Baier wrote to me. “We are not able to find people to fill positions in Wisconsin.” She needed a special education teacher and only one applicant had applied to her rural Plum City district.

When the school bells ring across Wisconsin, parents expect classrooms to be filled with qualified teachers. But a dramatic decline in education majors at university-based programs and an exodus of both newly minted and experienced teachers have left Wisconsin parents asking, “Who will teach our children?”

The “impending crisis” is here.
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Health Still a Top Political Issue

“ObamaCare must be repealed immediately,” begins Governor Walker’s health plan for America.

Recently the governor unveiled his health plan to eliminate the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He chose Minnesota as the backdrop - a state whose state-based marketplace offers health premiums to families that are over three hundred dollars less a month than Wisconsin’s federal marketplace according to research by the Commonwealth Fund.

In his new plan, the governor would give states the ability to create high-risk insurance pools – something Wisconsin had and Walker repealed in his 2013 budget. If we had kept this high-risk pool for a few more years, premiums in Wisconsin – for those who buy insurance on their own or as a small business – would have likely been lower.
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Lack of Rural Broadband Frustrates Fairgoers

“It’s pedal to the metal on broadband policy—for both consumers and competitors,” said Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler at a recent address to the Brookings Institute as reported on a Brookings website.

Internet in rural Wisconsin is closer to Pony Express than “pedal to the metal.”

That’s the general consensus of folks at the Pierce County Fair.
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