Health care, drugs discussed with Pocan representative

Erik Schlueter, field representative for Congress Mark Pocan of Madison, right, held an office hour at the Marshall Community Library on Friday, June 21. Attending the informal session were, from left, Roger Johnson, Judy Brinkman, John Barth and Marion Barth.

While the five people who attended Congressman Mark Pocan office hours at the Marshall Community Library on Friday, June 21, mainly “came to listen,” they filled the 60 minutes with questions and comments about health care, drug costs, and campaign finance reform.

Erik Schlueter, a field representative for Pocan, asked those in attendance what the top issues are in Marshall.

Schlueter said there are 730,000 constituents in Pocan’s district, with a lot of different opinions. “We have seen an uptick in the number of people reaching out,” he told the small group.

“We get a healthy mix of calls,” the representative said. “Not all good, not all bad.”

When asked how federal issues impact the state, “the impact on state issues are limited,” Schlueter said.

Voting districts in Wisconsin are set by the state, Schlueter said. He said Pocan has advocated for a change on how the boundaries are set for the next re-districting. That will occur after the 2020 census.

Health care was one of the major topics of discussion for the group. Everything from the cost of prescription drugs varying from country to country to obtaining drugs from other countries was discussed. The ideal of transparency was raised so that people know the actual cost of a drug, not just their co-payment.

Knowing the actual cost for medical care explains why health insurance is expensive, one man said.

With the upcoming elections in 2020, in particular the presidential race, one woman asked about campaign finance reform. Instead of spending money on elections, she proposed using the funds to repair roads, feed the hungry and provide shelter for the homeless.

Schlueter said he would take all the comments and concerns raised during the session to the congressman.

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