Medicare Advantage essential program

Medicare Advantage is a lifeline for over 500,000 Wisconsinites and that’s why Congress should not cut the program to pay for other spending bills.

Medicare Advantage gives health insurance options to tens of millions of seniors around America by offering benefits above and beyond original Medicare. With out-of-pocket maximums, low or no monthly premium, benefits like vision, virtual visits and preventative care, the Advantage program is a partner for seniors like me as we try to live a healthy lifestyle in our retirement.

But our Medicare Advantage benefits could be at risk if some in Congress get their way. As talks around the spending bill in Washington heat up, some have targeted Medicare Advantage as a program to cut to pay for other programs. I’m here to tell our Wisconsin representatives in Washington that us seniors will not put up with these plans.

Medicare Advantage is important to hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin seniors. Our members of Congress need to remember that and push back on any talks of cuts to this valuable program.

Mandy Heard

Eau Claire

Support for Enbridge Line 5 relocation

According to AAA, the national average for gas has increased from $1.31 per gallon to over $3.40 a gallon in just the last year.

While the talking heads on TV are blaming a lot of factors, one thing everyone seems to agree on is a lack of supply is driving up fuel prices. That’s why I’m having a really hard time understanding why some right here in Wisconsin are calling for us to abandon safe and efficient methods of moving oil and gas and are trying to make life even harder for so many Wisconsin families.

Just to our north in Bayfield, Ashland and Iron counties, a pipeline that moves the raw products needed to fuel our vehicles and heat our homes is in the process of being rerouted at the request of a Wisconsin tribe. The Enbridge Line 5 relocation would move a 12-mile section of pipeline onto new lands where all the landowners support the project. The relocation would ensure that more than 500,000 barrels of oil and natural gas liquids are not removed from the energy supply chain each day, which would undoubtedly force our fuel prices even higher.

Wisconsin families are suffering with increased prices in housing, food, clothing, and lots of other necessities we need to live our lives. State regulators in Madison need to quickly approve the Line 5 reroute to ensure our state doesn’t see even more massive hikes in our gas and heating bills.

Stephanie Brown

River Falls

Funding for work programs prudent

The Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) was one the most iconic and impactful programs of the Great Depression era.

Even today, roughly 80 years after the CCC closed up their camps, we are benefiting from the work. Many of our state parks, including Brunet Island, were built by the CCC. State, county and national forests have all benefited from the work of the CCC.

Today, similar challenges have led to the revival of a good idea under the CCC moniker — the Civilian Climate Corps. The new CCC will work on the myriad of necessary and vital tasks needed to mitigate the ongoing climate crisis. Proposed projects include weatherization of affordable housing, building natural solutions to storm water flooding, removing wild fire fuel, replanting burned forests, installing solar panels, helping vulnerable people during heatwaves, and restoring coastal areas.

The over 300,000 young people who will work for the new CCC would receive a wage of at least $15 an hour and full health benefits. CCC members would also get job and career training, and possibly funding for post secondary education. The $30 billion in funding for the proposed new CCC is a part of the Build Back Better Act, which would see a vote yet this month. There is a lot of support in Congress to act now to tackle climate change, but our legislators, especially Rep. Ron Kind, need to hear from us.

Let your legislators know today that you support the new Civilian Climate Corps and the Build Back Better Act.

James Swanson


Individuals’ refusal to testify informative

The U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the United States Capitol is doing as well as it can to interview any individuals that may have information that would lead to an understanding of the details of this tragic event.

Dozens of individuals have complied with the committee’s request to answer questions and provide documents regarding their level of participation, knowledge of participation by others, and what did they know and when did they know it. Their testimonies occur after being sworn in to tell the truth as best they know it. To provide false information is considered to be perjury, which puts that individual in legal jeopardy.

It is logical to assume that the only individuals who might not want to testify in front of the committee are those that by their actions or inactions may have contributed to an act of insurrection against the United States. Clearly the only individuals who currently have refused to testify are members of the inner circle of the former president of the United States. Are they afraid of telling the truth? Are they afraid they might be caught committing perjury? Are they afraid that in their pleading the Fifth Amendment or not being able to remember details of their actions, that they will be perceived as willful participants in an attempt to overthrow the government of we the people?

I am reminded of the old adage, “if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck.” Also, most of us are also aware of another popular saying; “the truth shall set you free.” Indeed, that is usually the case with the exception of where the truth puts some people behind bars.

Richard Boyum

Candler, N.C.