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Medicare's Future Critical Issue for Wisconsin Voters

AARP Wisconsin says voters care about the future of Medicare and Social Security. (
AARP Wisconsin says voters care about the future of Medicare and Social Security. (
August 6, 2018

MADISON, Wis. – Ahead of next week's primary election, new data reveals just how crucial Medicare is for the future of the state.

Lisa Lamkins, federal issues advocacy director for AARP Wisconsin, says Medicare helps cover health care costs for more than 1 million Wisconsinites.

But she adds that it doesn't just help older adults get the affordable care they need.

"In terms of what it does for our local economy, Medicare invests about $11.6 billion just in the state of Wisconsin,” she points out. “That is a big number that keeps a lot of businesses operating."

Lamkins says thousands of hospitals, nursing homes, doctor's offices and other large and small businesses are able to keep their doors open because of Medicare, which accounts for nearly 19 percent of state and local government spending in Wisconsin.

Medicare helped pay the health care costs of 56 million Americans in 2017, and invested about $710 billion into the national economy.

However, Lamkins notes that voters are not hearing from the candidates about their plans to strengthen the program for the future.

"Critical issues like Medicare, Social Security, caregiving, financial security, all of these are on the line in Wisconsin's election this year,” she points out. “We want to make sure the candidates for office are paying attention to these issues that really matter to voters."

Lamkins adds that future generations also are counting on programs such as Medicare and Social Security to be strong so they can get the benefits they've earned.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - WI