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As I See It

Plan to help our healthcare hero

Scott Robert Shaw

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It seems so long ago now when the coronavirus pandemic started. Indeed, it has been more than three months since we started seeing cases in Wisconsin. At the start of the pandemic, some lawmakers were pushing the idea of helping our healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic. It didn’t end up going anywhere, and Wisconsin lawmakers have so far done nothing to help and protect those healthcare workers. Better late than never, perhaps, as a group of lawmakers in Madison have unveiled what they call the “Healthcare Heroes Act.” The bill introduced this week would provide benefits for healthcare workers, including hazard pay, paid medical leave, state funded Covid-19 testing and treatment for those uninsured. They point out that in the U.S., over 80,000 healthcare workers have contracted the virus, and almost 500 have died from it. In Wisconsin, more than 2300 healthcare workers have been infected, even as they work tirelessly to save the lives of others. This is a good bill, and one which should be approved. But our lawmakers instead continue their 2020 vacation. They haven’t met to approve measures related to the coronavirus, and they currently have no plans to meet again. Legislative leaders who control the agenda are instead content to hit the campaign trail rather than do their jobs. This bill deserves a hearing, debate, and ultimately a vote. But that can’t happen until our lawmakers get off their butts and get back to work to do the job they were elected to do.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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