An ongoing lawsuit -- supported by President Trump -- currently working its way through a circuit court in Texas has the potential to dismantle the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, potentially skyrocketing prescription drug and premiums costs and stripping millions of Americans off their health coverage. In Marquette County, Wisconsin, the potential ramifications of this lawsuit could be catastrophic.
During the 2019 open enrollment period, nearly 5% of Marquette County residents -- which has a total population of approximately 15,000 -- enrolled in an ACA plan through the healthcare exchanges. Of those residents, more than 85% received tax credits and cost sharing subsidies to help curb the cost of rising prescription drug prices and insurance premiums.
Sauk County Continues to Combat the Opioid Epidemic With No Serious Support in Sight From Trump Admin
Despite President Trump touting “great success” in fighting the opioid epidemic during his first term, the public health crisis has continued to ravage communities across America. Areas of the Midwest like Sauk County, Wisconsin, have been particularly hard hit where one out of every 140 residents requires treatment for opioid addiction.
In 2016, the rate of individual users seeking substance abuse services in Sauk County increased to 5.2%. And in 2017, local law enforcement reported seeing a reemergence of methamphetamine addiction in Sauk County, which they directly linked to heroin addiction stemming from the opioid crisis.
Over an 18 year period, Kenosha County, Wisconsin ranked first in the state for heroin-related deaths and fourth for deaths stemmed from opioid addiction. In 2017 the crisis took a turn for the worse: opioid overdose became the leading cause of accidental death in Kenosha County, with more than 50 people dying per year.
The escalating crisis, particularly in pockets of the Midwest, is leaving some to question whether or not the Trump Administration is taking the situation seriously and providing necessary resources to combat the epidemic. At the root of the criticism is a $1.5 trillion budget cut that could negatively impact programs that lower-income Americans rely on in order to treat addiction.
During his campaign for President in 2016, President Trump repeatedly promised a revival of manufacturing jobs across the Midwest. But after Kimberly-Clark Corp. closed down its plant in Neenah, Wisconsin, at the end of May 2019 -- even as the company enjoyed a multi-million payday from the President’s corporate tax bill -- some 100 people were out of work.
Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Kleenex, Kotex and other personal-care brands, announced in January 2018 that it would be laying off between 5,000 and 5,500 employees across the country, including the 100 jobs in Wisconsin. On the same day, the company reported $3.3 billion in profits in the 2017 fiscal year.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, seeking a third term, has taken a hard line on prison reform, denouncing a Democratic proposal to reduce the state’s prison population as a plan to let out “violent offenders” as he faces criticism that he has mishandled and ignored an abuse scandal in the state’s correctional system while pushing for privatization.