KATHLEEN VINEHOUT
PEOPLE FIRST

Confusing Health Coverage Dominates Thanksgiving Conversations

“My family conversations over Thanksgiving were all about health care,” Mary shared with me. “It’s all so confusing.”

Mary’s family is not alone. From recent conversations, I’m betting that health care dominated talk at many Thanksgiving gatherings.

Premiums are too high. Young people worry about finding money to buy insurance. Older people are trying to figure out Medicare. Many are struggling with unpaid or surprise bills.

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The Zen of Deer Hunting

Sitting alone in the fog. Blending in with the grass and trees. Don’t move. Just listen. Breathe.

“Caaw, caaw caaw.” Two crows overhead. One higher, hoarser, more nasal. A young one. Looking for food. They are opportunists. Listen.

“Tuk, tuk, tuk tuk, tuk.” A wild turkey to the north.

The soft whoosh of wings overhead. Something flies by. Very still. Don’t move. Wondering. An eagle screeches. A Hairy Woodpecker drums. It’s still early. Dark. Quiet. Watch.

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“Faces of Addiction and Recovery” Came to the Capitol

The day was busy. Filled with bills voted on by Senators. Bills that, someday, will change people’s lives for better or worse. Senators do not often see the faces of those whose lives changed.
 
Bev, Bonnie and Jamie are working to put a face on the lives affected by the actions of lawmakers. The women are showing Wisconsin the faces of those suffering from addiction.
 
With the help of Senator Erpenbach, these strong women brought three panels of a very large quilt to the Capitol. On the quilt were the faces of those suffering from addiction. The background behind the face tells a story. The person may be in recovery (white), in prison (gray), or died (black).

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Testimony in opposition of SB 281- The Organization and Operation of Cooperatives and Extension of Credits by Electric Cooperatives

I thank Chairperson LeMahieu and committee members for the opportunity to testify on Senate Bill 281, which alters Chapter 185 regarding the organization of cooperatives.

As an organic farmer and member of many cooperatives, I understand need and history of cooperatives for agricultural and rural communities. Cooperatives provide a crucial link between community members and access to markets like feed and livestock. These service organizations are guided by the principles of putting the welfare of their members first; not the bottom-line of the cooperative.

Earlier this year, our office requested a legislative council memo describing Senate Bill 281 and comparing the bill with certain provisions of current law. The memo clarified the concerns I had about this bill. 

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