Sunday June 16, 2019

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Discussion with education and reason.

Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D.

Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D.

Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D. is a physician and a former congressman from Appleton.

Senator Johnson is Wrong

Posted by Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D.
Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D.
Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D. is a physician and a former congressman from Appleton.
User is currently offline
on Friday, 02 October 2015
in Wisconsin

ron-johnson-speaksSen. Ron Johnson's comment "we got the $800 billion stimulus which basically went into the pockets of public unions"  at a Green Bay campaign stop last week is dead wrong. I was there in 2009 and we faced a $50 trillion hole in the economy, and unions did not cause the mess. It was the losing Republican ideas of "Trickle Down" economics, deregulation, borrow and spend budgeting, and our nation’s unnecessary involvement in wars overseas.


APPLETON, WI - Sen. Ron Johnson's comments last week about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 deserve our attention.

In wrongly stating "... we got the $800 billion stimulus which basically went into the pockets of public unions," Johnson suggests working class women and men caused our economic mess.

Johnson is wrong.

By 2008, our economy had been driven into the ditch by irresponsible Republican policies including trickle down economics, where money was supposed to trickle into pockets of working class families after rich people were given huge tax cuts. It failed miserably.

Johnson’s majority party also borrowed and spent money government did not have and deregulated banks on Wall Street, sinking us even deeper into debt.

These were not union ideas; they are Republican realities.

The fact is that without paying for any of it, Johnson’s party handed out tax cuts to billionaires, created massive federal budget deficits and wasted $3 trillion destroying Iraq where 4,488 American heroes gave their ultimate sacrifice.

Johnson is dead wrong.

I was there in 2009. We faced a $50 trillion hole in the economy from the housing market collapse; the stock market was crashing; 750,000 jobs across the nation were being lost each month; and our financial system was frozen — a combination not seen since the Great Depression.

There was a complete lack of confidence in capitalism itself. Banks would not loan money to anyone, for they were not certain they would be paid back. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson told me 75 percent of America’s assets were in 17 banks and these banks had no money: "They are bone dry."

Working together with Democrats Dave Obey, Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold, I helped create the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the boldest action taken by government since the Depression. We brought back billions of our own tax dollars to Wisconsin to rebuild our schools, roads and bridges while delivering the biggest tax cut in American history.

Johnson just does not get it.

Unions did not cause this mess. It was the losing Republican ideas of Trickle Down economics, Deregulation of Wall Street, Borrow and Spend budgeting and our nation’s unnecessary involvement in never ending religious civil wars overseas.

Now more than ever we need elected officials who will think things all the way through; women and men who will enact laws to reward work instead of wealth as we begin to solve our differences in conversations not confrontations.

***

Appleton’s Dr. Steve Kagen is a former congressman who represented Wisconsin’s 8th District.

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Freedoms Lost Are Hard To Regain

Posted by Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D.
Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D.
Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D. is a physician and a former congressman from Appleton.
User is currently offline
on Monday, 17 June 2013
in Wisconsin

reid_ribble_congressAPPLETON - In 2011, Rep. Reid Ribble voted to give away our right to privacy and, last week, we see its shameful consequences.

With Ribble’s permission, federal agents searched and seized personal telephone and electronic communications. In a single vote, Ribble erased what thousands of patriotic Americans died for — our right to privacy and our freedom of speech. As events in Washington show, freedoms lost are hard to regain.

The excuse offered by Ribble to allow the government to spy on all Americans was based on ignorance and fear. His statement reads in part, “While I have reservations with programs that put civil liberties at risk, the provisions that we voted on yesterday are carefully balanced to protect our vital, constitutionally protected civil liberties. These provisions permit law enforcement engaged in foreign terrorism investigations to carry out their duties without curtailing our rights. I’ve heard from law enforcement officials, other members of Congress and leaders from both parties that these tools have prevented attacks on our country and are necessary in our fight against terrorism.”

Without curtailing our rights? Ignorance is no excuse, for there is no reason to give up our freedoms. Ben Franklin agreed: “Those who give up their liberty for more security neither deserve liberty nor security.”

Thomas Jefferson also warned about ill-informed politicians: “If a nation expects to be both ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be.”

Human history has proven there will never be an honest excuse for giving away our freedoms. Never in Wisconsin’s 8th District history has an elected official been so easily duped into giving away our civil liberties.

By contrast, this same issue arose in the House of Representatives late at night on Aug. 4, 2007. Due to time constraints, I was not permitted to speak against a similar bill to deprive us of our Fourth Amendment rights. Instead, I submitted this handwritten statement:

“Our nation has faced many challenges in our history, and none more serious or deadly than our battle against violent extremists. Make no mistake, we must do whatever it takes to defend America and keep hostilities from our shores. We must be tough and we must be smart. We have the tough part right, and now more than ever we must be smart.

“The bill now before the House asks the American people to give up our Fourth Amendment rights without firing a single shot, even when the facts reveal we already have laws to allow intelligence agencies to protect all of us.

“The Senate-sponsored bill trades our Fourth Amendment rights for a false promise of security. It pretends to offer our people the reassurance that the current attorney general — a man few believe to be honorable or honest — will exercise good judgment in defending all of us.

“Our nation has lost faith in this administration’s competence and has lost faith in the ability of President Bush to understand and obey the rule of law. Having lost our faith in this president, we must not lose our constitutional rights as well. We must defend our nation, and we can continue to do so under the rule of law.”

Elections are about choices and consequences, and sadly the election of a man with poor judgment resulted in the loss of our right to privacy and a diminution of our freedom of speech.

It will be difficult to regain our freedoms, but by working together, we will. Next election, vote for someone else, someone with good judgment who will fight to restore and protect all our rights and freedoms.

 

— Dr. Steve Kagen is an Appleton resident who represented Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District from 2007 to 2011.

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Republican Open-pit Iron Ore Mining Bill Bad for Wisconsin

Posted by Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D.
Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D.
Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D. is a physician and a former congressman from Appleton.
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 13 March 2013
in Wisconsin

APPLETON - Shame, shame, shame on all legislators who voted for dirty air, dirty water and bad health for people in Wisconsin.

Remember, we have seen this movie before. It's called the China Way, and it did not have a happy ending. China sacrificed its environment for short-term economic gain, and their people are now paying the highest price possible: more cancer, more dirty air and water pollution that can never be undone.

The Wisconsin Way must never become the China Way, for in Wisconsin we believe in clean air, clean water and healthy people - not corporate greed.

Please join me in supporting the Bad River Band of Lake Superior in their efforts to protect Wisconsin's precious environment. Together, We Will...

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A smart health care marketplace!

Posted by Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D.
Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D.
Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D. is a physician and a former congressman from Appleton.
User is currently offline
on Monday, 25 February 2013
in Wisconsin

APPLETON - In 2006, I ran for public office for the first time in my life to end discrimination against my patients with pre-existing medical conditions - and I succeeded.

After a century of trying, we finally established that health care is a civil right. Beginning next January, no insurance company, anywhere in these United States, will be allowed to decline insurance coverage to any citizen. In other words, if you're a citizen, you're in. As a physician, I know this is a really big deal.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law nearly three years ago, yet most families and small business owners are still unaware of the new freedoms they've won. Families can now have peace of mind, for no longer will they go broke and lose their home just because a loved one becomes seriously ill. Small business owners are now receiving tax credits to help pay for their employees' insurance coverage. Simply put, the Affordable Care Act is good for your health and your business.

Our new law puts patients first, holds insurers accountable, strengthens Medicare and levels the playing field for small businesses. Putting patients first means physicians may do what is best for patients. No thoughtful person can oppose the freedoms we've won. But your new freedoms are yours for only as long as you can hold onto them.

We have begun to improve upon what we already have, but there is much work to do. This year, we must create a truly competitive health insurance marketplace in Wisconsin. Gov. Scott Walker had the authority to do this, but he refused to do so even though the Wisconsin Regulatory Review Report of 2013 that he commissioned found the cost for health care is the top concern of small business owners. Our governor turned his back on my patients and small business owners, so it is up to us to write the rules for Wisconsin's new Health Care Marketplace.

To guarantee we receive the care we need at prices we can afford, critical questions must be answered. What do you want Wisconsin's health insurance marketplace to look like? What piece of the pie should insurance executives be allowed to take? Would you like to see the price of a pill before you swallow it?

Consider these questions:

Whose side do you want your doctor to be on, yours or the insurance company?

Should every insurance company have to sell the same health benefit plan so we can compare their quality, price and service apples to apples?

Should every business selling health care products and services have to openly disclose all their prices, so we can shop for the highest-quality care at the best possible price?

Should all patients be treated equally and at the same price for the same service?

Do you want to be rewarded for living a healthy lifestyle by paying less for your health insurance?

Do you want to be free to choose your personal physician, hospital and insurance plan?

Do you want to be free to go to any physician or health facility that accepts the same terms of your insurance plan?

Should insurance companies be allowed to write their own rules?

Answering these and other questions will help responsible officials to establish a patient-centered and highly competitive medical marketplace, one in which we will all have the freedom to choose our own caregivers based upon their quality, price and service.

Now is the time to think things all the way through. Take time today and visit these informational websites: www.Healthcare.gov and www.sba.gov/content/health-care.

As a practicing physician and co-author of our nation's new law, I am convinced today more than ever that we can fix what is broken in our health care delivery system state-by-state by putting patients first and creating a truly competitive medical marketplace.

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I Support Tammy Baldwin

Posted by Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D.
Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D.
Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D. is a physician and a former congressman from Appleton.
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 24 December 2011
in Wisconsin

Everywhere I go, people ask me, “Can Tammy Baldwin win Herb Kohl’s Senate seat?”  The answer – with your help – Yes She Will !

I strongly support Tammy – she’s a hard worker, tough and cannot be bought. I had the honor of working with her and know she is always on our side.

Tammy has a steel spine, and even when the odds are against her, she never backs down. 
She always stands up for working class families.  No doubt about it, Tammy Baldwin is just like you and me.

She believes our children should be sent to school, not to unnecessary wars overseas.

Tammy believes health insurance companies should never again be allowed to discriminate against anyone because of pre-existing medical conditions.  She gets it – too many of our jobs have been shipped overseas.

Tammy is just like us… and she will always protect your job and your family.

But she cannot help us unless we help her – right now.

Tammy needs your help to keep on fighting for everyone in Wisconsin.  Please volunteer your time and contribute to her election now.

Join me in supporting Tammy.  Let’s work together and win this critical U.S. Senate race.  Click here to contribute securely online.

Please contribute  $250, $100, $50, $5 or whatever you can to elect Tammy. She is exactly the change we need.

Wisconsin can’t wait, and we can’t afford to sit this race out!  That’s why I humbly and respectfully ask you to join Tammy Baldwin today.

Thank you for your serious consideration.  Have a safe and healthy Holiday Season.

On Wisconsin!

Steve Kagen, M.D.
Member of Congress (Retired)

PS:  Send this message to all your family and friends.  Do it now.  We Can’t Wait.


Written by Steve Kagen, M.D. and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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