Workman’s Compensation as we know it is about to be eliminated in a bill proposed by the GOP Assemblyman from Marshfield, John Spiros. It will affect every person that works for a living.
As proposed, it will drastically reduce the amounts workers receive for their injuries, in some cases eliminating them entirely. His bill, should it be passed, will:
1. Reduce the statute of limitations during which a worker can claim to be affected by a work related injury from 12 years to 2.
2. Eliminate altogether benefits for workers who were fired or found to have drugs in their system – prescription pain meds included.
3. Reduce benefits depending on how much “negligence” can be blamed on the worker.
4. Force you to see their doctor, not your own, and abide by whatever he/she says is the extent or existence of your injury.
5. If you are hurt while working across state lines, you must abide by that state’s Workman’s Comp laws and may not appeal.
6. Eliminate payments if you are suspended from work while injured.
7. May deny payment for pain meds needed for your rehab.
Wisconsin’s Workman’s Comp laws are the besta in the nation. The process by which it is administered has stood for over a century. The Spiros bill will rip the heart out of it and make it one of the worst in the nation. If you have the potential of being injured on the job, everything from a can of beans falling on your toe to being run over by a forklift, this will adversely affect you. The wholesale attack on workers by the Walker administration, after claiming to be on the side of the working man is a disgrace. First be attacked public unions. Then all unions. He attacked voters and the poor. He is planning on attacking the civil service board to appoint cronies to decide cases involving workers’ rights.
Take the time to notify your Senator and Assemblyperson and let them know this bill will hurt every worker in the state.
This is an open letter to Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center administrators and Board members. We want the community to realize the recent decision they have made.
Re: Closing of Good Samaritan’s Wellness Program
We would like to thank you for instilling in us the importance of keeping ourselves healthy and active as we grow older. Your physical therapists have done an outstanding job of keeping us “in the game” after our surgeries, replacements, strokes, and general aches and pains of aging bodies. We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in your physical therapy department, as we trusted you and believed that Ministry’s sincere mission is “to keep Patients First in everything we do.” Imagine then how shocked and saddened we were last week to have the doors to the Wellness Center slammed in our faces!! Yes, we were told, with no explanation, that you are closing the doors forever.
We don’t think you realize how special of a program you have developed for us. We don’t think you realize that we take care of our bodies because you have provided a safe, familiar, and comfortable atmosphere for us, easy to get into, and with just the equipment we need to continue the workouts you have provided for us during rehab. We don’t think you realize that most of us won’t go to the other facility that you have “teamed up with…to assist us with a healthy alternative.” We can’t figure out why you can’t find a room in your expansive hospital to accommodate us and continue this wonderful program we have all bought into. At the very least, please give us some time to figure out how we might continue this program elsewhere.
We know that money is the factor that pretty much drives decisions of this type and understand the importance of keeping a “lean” budget, but at whose expense? The older age group that you anticipate won’t speak up and voice their devastation at your choices? We are well over a hundred strong for membership and range in age from under 60 to over 84. We pay $25 a month for your services, but more importantly, we return over and over to your physical therapy department when we need their services. Is it a wise decision to alienate that age group?
Despair is the feeling that pervades the Wellness Center, feelings of truly intense sadness and helplessness at the loss of this program. How do you fight a corporation? Appeal to their sense of community service? Speak out to other community members about how wrong this decision is? Inform them how many seniors will lead a less than best lifestyle when your doors close? All we ask is for you to reconsider or find a room for us in the hospital. We had no warning of this decision and were blindsided, but we are definitely not going to just accept this without imploring you to right this wrong. Stop over anytime to see what a wonderful “community” of people we are, dedicated to being independent and living a healthy lifestyle. As one of our 84-year-old members solemnly said as she held the letter in her hand, “This is the first time in my life I have spent money on myself. I would not be walking anymore if I had not come here for the past three years.”
Delores Preisinger, Cathy LeMay-Brown, George Preisinger, Richard L. Brown, Colin Daul, Mary Ann VanDerGeest, Shirley Ziemke, Grayce Reichl, Elizabeth Lange, Joe Reichl, Arleigh Linder, Sue Rehwinkel, Helen Huss, Kris Rehwinkel, Linda Plautz, Howard Stahl, Bryan Plautz, Geno Hackbart, Jean Bowen, Phyllis Rhyner, Ron Oestreich, Sharon Karow, Jim Richardson, Tom Lindquist, Eileen Richardson, Phyllis Meyer, Bill Boyd, Joe Carlson, Shirley Pfister, Barb Carlson, Peggy Berndt, Steve Malluegge, Shirley Marshall, Don Winkelman, Bruce Schleif, John Case, Roger Hulke, Larry Hartwig, Larry C. Baumann, Ardis Marquis, Jean Meyer, Sue Smith, Darlene Pepke, Bev Prentice, Dan Szitta, Faye Buck, Carolyn Byer, Mark Welch, Judy Bashara, Lester Judnic, Marion Attoe, Marilyn Judnic, Ken Attoe, Thomas Becker, Joanne Utech, Sharon Schmeltzer, Nancy Monti and Maddy Natzke
To the Merrill Community: We need help! Does anyone want to adopt us? Marshfield Clinic, do you have space in your facility? Aspirus Clinic? Bierman Foundation? Smith Foundation? Ministry Good Samaritan Foundation? Lincoln County Aging and Disabililty Resource Center? Merrill Community Enrichment Center? A new business for someone? Hopefully we can find a creative way to resolve this issue and keep the senior community active and moving in a healthy direction. If you have ideas or a solution, please contact one of the following program members. Also, please contact Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center administrators and Board members if you feel this is an unfair decision and does not follow their mission of “keeping Patients First in everything we do.”
Eileen Richardson: 715-536-4912
Delores Preisinger: 715-536-8747
Mary Ann VanDerGeest: 715-218-1144
Jean Bowen: 715-536-1008
Thomas Becker: 715-536-5568
With the primary election on Feb. 16, the Foto News will not be publishing letters from or regarding candidates in the Feb. 9 issue. We will accept letters related to the primary for the Feb. 2 issue.