Opponent Ron Johnson would repeal the New Health Care Bill, which invests in more access to better care in greater Milwaukee area
U.S. Senator Russ Feingold recently welcomed an investment of more than $2.6 million for a Milwaukee community health center just as a new report details a troubling lack of primary care available in Milwaukee. On October 8, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius visited Milwaukee to announce that the 16th Street Community Health Center received an award of $2,625,615 paid for through the new health care reform law.
Community health centers are expected to play a larger role in offering care as millions more Americans will be insured following passage of the new health care reform law. The new health care law includes $15,817,799 for Wisconsin’s community health centers to meet the increased demand and the construction of new facilities. In 2008, 200,000 patients sought care at community health centers, most of who fell below the poverty line.
The announcement came shortly before a new study in the Wisconsin Medical Journal reported that only 20 percent of the 234 physicians in Milwaukee are located in areas designated as underserved.
“This is an important investment in the health of our community and I was proud to work with President Obama and fight for health care reform,” said Feingold, “My Republican opponent Ron Johnson has made it his top priority to repeal health care reform and eliminate this funding for the people that need it most.”
Feingold’s opponent, Republican Ron Johnson, has said he wants to completely repeal the new health care law and put insurance companies in charge of people’s health care. He has also said, “If I could wave a magic wand, I would take the entire Obama agenda and reverse it.”
Milwaukee Magazine recently ran a story on the Wisconsin Medical Journal study, and reported that the 46 physician offices in the inner city were largely in three areas and “offices specializing in internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology or pediatrics were even less likely to be located in the inner city.”
Feingold has been a champion of helping health care centers, earning him the title of 2010 Distinguished Community Health Superhero by the National Association of Community Health Centers.
“President Obama and I fought the insurance companies and won,” Feingold said, “Now Ron Johnson wants to put them back in control so they can deny coverage when people get sick or change jobs.”
As a result of Feingold’s work, an estimated 541,000 Wisconsinites who are uninsured and 320,000 Wisconsinites who have individual market insurance will gain access to affordable coverage. As many as 358,000 Wisconsinites are expected to qualify for premium tax credits to help them purchase health coverage. As many as 77,400 small businesses throughout the state may be eligible for tax credits starting this year to help purchase health insurance for business owners and their employees. No longer will Wisconsin small businesses be vulnerable to insurance practices of raising rates on a year-to-year basis due to an employee falling ill.
“I don’t know if Ron Johnson has noticed, but Milwaukee is now fourth poorest city in the country,” Feingold said. “These health centers are critical to ensure all people in Wisconsin have access to health care.”