Dodge: Wisconsin must expand Medicaid

Wisconsin has the chance to benefit in so many ways by expanding Medicaid. Tens of thousands of our residents would have their health care covered, allowing them to receive needed care in clinics instead of emergency rooms and preventing far more serious, and costly, illnesses.

The rest of us would not be seeing our insurance rates rise in order to pay for emergency care. Rural health care systems, including hospitals, dental clinics and mental health facilities, would get a needed infusion of cash.

Refusing federal money to expand Medicaid doesn’t make financial sense for our state. Wisconsin would receive $1 billion over two years, freeing up state funds for programs we all value, such as education and infrastructure.

A majority of Wisconsinites support expanding Medicaid, but it is blocked in the legislature. Please contact your state senators and representatives (https://legis.wisconsin.gov/)and urge them to vote for expanding Medicaid. It is the right move financially and morally, and it should be an easy decision.

Nancy Dodge,

Westport

Mulhern: Recognizing elder abuse in Columbia County

As Americans, we believe in justice for all. Yet we fail to live up to this promise when we allow older members of our society to be abused or neglected. Columbia County Adult Protective Services Social Workers investigated a total of 165 reports of abuse and/or neglect in 2018.

Older people are vital, contributing members of American society and their maltreatment diminishes all of us. Just as we have confronted and addressed the social issues of child abuse and domestic violence, we should be able to find solutions to address issues like elder abuse, which also threatens the well-being of our community.

During the month of June we recognize World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. On this day, communities in the USA and all over the world will sponsor events to highlight solutions to this systemic social challenge.

The ADRC of Columbia County will be hosting a local resource fair, a speaker from Senior Medicare Patrol and refreshments at an event to participate in this national conversation on Wednesday, June 19 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at the ADRC of Columbia County, 111 E. Mullett Street in Portage.

It is harder for older people to stay involved with and connected to our communities as they age. As a result, older people are more likely to experience social isolation, which increases the likelihood of abuse and neglect.

The ADRC of Columbia County believes that we can design stronger supports within the community to keep our older people connected and protect them from abuse, whether financial, emotional, physical or sexual. When we address a root cause, like social isolation, we also make it less likely that people will neglect themselves (self-neglect).

Older adults who are socially connected and protected from harm are less likely to be hospitalized, less likely to go into nursing homes and less likely to die. We can and must create healthier and safer living environments for older adults, including their homes, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities.

Becky Mulhern,

Portage

Prouty: Cleaning the Sunset Harbor island

The island in Sunset Harbor just down stream from the Merrimac Ferry has been trashed. The trash consists mostly of poles, a garbage can, plastic tarps and broken glass. If we all take a little of it as we visit, we might be able to clean it up to its original natural beauty.

Mark Prouty,

Lodi

Pickle: Legislators need to earn their pay

I have seen enough from both sides of the aisle drawing their pay and not doing anything except tattling and crying, pointing fingers and still drawing their $170,000 plus salary plus expenses.

We citizens are contributing the money and they do nothing. It must stop. Either they must get busy and earn their salary doing the business of the people or get out of office.

If you are a legislator and not earning your worth, then go home and stay there. We citizens have had enough.

John H. Pickle, Jr.,

Lodi

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