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Author: Wisconsin Watch

Milwaukee families suffer as cost of prescription drugs skyrocket

Costs of widely prescribed drugs jumped up to 5,241 percent in recent years, joint investigation shows. University of Wisconsin doctor says this is what families agonize over. Jess Franz-Christensen did not realize the seriousness of her son’s Type 1 diabetes diagnosis until staff in the doctor’s office offered to call an ambulance to take him to the hospital. Her next shock: The cost of Jack’s medicines. The drugs, administered through an insulin pump, cost $1,200 a month. “We’re really fortunate. We’re able to pay for stuff,” said Franz-Christensen, whose husband, Scott, is a physicist, while she stays home to...

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Wisconsin Millennials could influence 2016 elections

Dissatisfaction with the two-party system, mobility and a different view of politics are features of voters 18 to 35 who make up one-third of the voting age population. Millennials get a bad rap. They’re labeled narcissistic, self-absorbed and apathetic. (Just look at their nicknames: the selfie generation, generation me, the unemployables.) And they’re the least likely generation to turn up at the polls this November. However, many young Americans do care about politics. They may just show it differently than their parents. At a recent Black and Brown Vote event at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, many of the attendees...

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Pesticide rules fail to protect Wisconsin’s drinking water

A 2007 survey of private drinking water wells found 1 out of 3 had pesticides or their breakdown chemicals; farm groups oppose push for tougher atrazine rules. In 2014, Doug and Dawn Reeves discovered the well supplying water to their home in rural Stoughton was contaminated with atrazine, despite the fact that they live in an area where use of the pesticide has been banned for 20 years. During an Easter celebration that year, their son Jacob, fell ill, his body swelling up. Then he developed an unusual rash. After multiple hospital visits, a doctor at American Family Children’s...

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White working-class voters turn to Trump over frustration with Democrats

Although polls show Trump trails Democrat Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin, the Republican’s message likely will appeal to many rural Wisconsin voters. “The disenfranchised voter who has lost their job as a result of policies affecting the coal industry and other heavy manufacturing jobs are feeling very frustrated with Washington,” said Rex Repass, founder and CEO of Repass, a national public opinion research and strategic consulting firm. “Even though many are historically Democratic counties, they have become very red and very angry.” University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor Kathy Cramer also found discontent among Wisconsin’s mostly white, rural residents while...

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Hispanic voters poised to flex their political muscles

Will the ‘sleeping giant’ awaken in time for the November 8 election? Latinos in Wisconsin and beyond are a wild card that can upset the political map, if they can overcome disenchantment and language barriers. She said she had always planned to exercise that right, but an incident in April made it clear just how important it was to cast her ballot. Montes, a Beloit Memorial High School student, was playing in a high school soccer game in Elkhorn when it turned ugly. Fans on the opposing team began yelling “Trump ’16” and “Build that wall!” at her Latina...

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Review shows Wisconsin has no voter impersonation problem

Gov. Scott Walker says the lack of voter impersonation cases does not matter if there is a chance that even one vote is canceled out by fraud. Politicians and voting rights advocates continue to clash over whether photo ID and other voting requirements are needed to prevent voter fraud, but a News21 analysis and recent court rulings show little evidence that such fraud is widespread. A News21 analysis four years ago of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases in 50 states found that while some fraud had occurred since 2000, the rate was infinitesimal compared with the 146 million registered voters...

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