Jayne's advice on important issues in the 96th
Frankly, until now America’s health care plan has been “Don’t Get Sick.” How many of us have had to battle our insurance companies to get the medications, tests, consults, and procedures our providers have ordered? How many of us have not sought medical attention because our deductibles are too high? How many of us have had our health insurance companies deny payment of an already completed test, procedure, or hospitalization? Everyone knows someone with diabetes, but not everyone realizes that the cost of insulin often makes people choose between their medication or food. These situations are unacceptable – and have been the status quo for far too long.
So how do we get good, affordable healthcare to everyone in Wisconsin?
• Expand Medicaid. Wisconsin must accept the $3.2 billion from the federal government With that increase in funding, Wisconsin can then offer Medicaid to individuals and families whose incomes previously were too high to qualify.
• Legislate profit caps. To decrease the cost of medications, Wisconsin must legislate profit caps for pharmaceutical companies. The United States is the only first world country that has no caps on pharmaceutical profits.
• Change the goals. Healthcare should be about people, not profits. Wisconsin must legislate tighter controls on for-profit health insurance. Insurance companies are supposed to be helping people who are paying for and desperately need medical coverage – not funding lobbyists and political PACs, and paying sky-high salaries to their management. We need to go back to the basics: caring for the whole person, doing what common sense requires, and keeping the big picture in mind.
We won't have healthy, productive communities until we have healthcare that works for everyone. At the state level, I believe we can find common ground on key topics that will help thousands of Wisconsinites, like a cap on insulin prices and ensuring everyone has affordable COPD medication. Controlling and limiting the costs of prescription medications is also crucial. Insurance companies are supposed to protect us from financial hardship, so we need to work on policy reform that requires insurance companies to manage risk for all.
As interest rates continue to rise and inflation on most goods and services increases, we must address the topic of wages in individual work agreements and with major employers.
Underpaying people for the work they do is a modern form of indentured servitude. A fair living wage needs to be equitable, giving wage earners access to housing, water, food, medical care, along with clothing, transportation and communications. The minimum wage needs to be, at minimum, $15/hour, and even that is often an inadequate amount for meeting these basic needs and living expenses. A wage closer to $20/hour closer to what most people need to survive.
For decades, the decline of wages in an ever-inflating economy has had negative social and emotional impacts on society. It is only now after the COVID pandemic that we’ve exposed deep fractures in our modern economy. As millions of workers fall into these fractures, poverty rates are driven higher. The more people fall into poverty, the more we will see increasing rates of homelessness, neglected and untreated medical issues, and increased illegal drug use, deaths and suicide. Over time, these problems are more costly to counteract than paying fair wages now. With fair wages we can stop this expensive downward cycle.
We won’t have healthy, productive communities until our reproductive rights are secured. The majority of Americans support a woman’s right to choose, and yet the U.S. Supreme Court has taken away that fundamental right of a majority of the population. Here in Wisconsin, the legislature went against the majority and has upheld an archaic law still on the books from 1849. This is Freedom and Liberty 101! How can the right to bodily autonomy be exclusive to men? Men who wrote Wisconsin’s total ban on abortion in 1849 – before women were even allowed to vote?
Am I pro-abortion? NO. But until we can care for every child, prevent every rape, and save the lives of mothers at risk, we must allow women the right to choose. I will never support forced births, and that’s exactly what Wisconsin law currently dictates.
One obvious problem with the fight over reproductive rights is that religion keeps creeping into the conversation. Everyone in Wisconsin deserves access to reproductive healthcare services, the right to privacy in communicating with their provider, and freedom to choose what’s right for them, regardless of someone else’s religious beliefs.
Here’s what I will fight for as your Assembly Representative:
• Throw out Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban and legislate guaranteed access to safe, accessible, and confidential reproductive health services statewide.
• Ensure the right to choose is not biased by gender or religion.
• Keep all medical decisions private. HIPPA laws guarantee privacy between patient and provider. Reproductive procedures like abortion should be no different.
• Guarantee by constitutional amendment the right of Wisconsin residents to travel to other states for whatever legal purpose they choose.
Every American deserves the personal freedom to start a family on their own terms, without government interference. But women account for only 31% of elected officials in Wisconsin. Until more progressive, pro-choice, well-qualified women are elected, our rights will continue to be in danger.
Make no mistake: women are under attack. The right to abortion and reproductive care, paid maternity leave, equal pay for equal work, and bodily autonomy have been denied us and we must stand in solidarity. We must instill self confidence and self-worth in our girls. We must teach them to be brave and to expect nothing less than full equality. We will only have women’s rights as human rights when we women take power for ourselves.
Public safety on many levels has been challenged since the COVID-19 pandemic start, continuing with mass shootings and changing views on police. We need safety officers. We also need wise gun control in our state and across the U.S.A. Additionally, the authority of the CDC and Health Departments are key components of government responsibilities and monitoring of public safety.
The assembly needs to tackle this issue from both sides—helping individuals to afford housing, and helping local municipalities to find ways to fund new construction. Affordable housing for people of all ages means more people will stay in our communities, raise their families here, and support our local economy. Affordable housing will also help communities to attract business development.
Clean Air & Water
We need to put people before big business when it comes to protection of our air and water. Agricultural waste, pesticides, fertilizers, and PFAs in our water pose a serious threat to community health. We must prevent more of this. Burning fossil fuels creates greenhouse gasses that trap heat that leads to extreme weather, droughts, and flooding, as we have seen in the 96th assembly district. We must support the use of renewable energy to protect the health and beauty of southwest Wisconsin for today and the future.
Farmers need incentives to adopt conservation methods that improve soil quality and protect our water, for the future of our economy and our health. And we need to help farmers bring sustainably-raised products to market so we have greater crop diversity and resilience to droughts and floods, and so they can afford to keep farming.