THE URGENCY OF UNDERSTANDING CLIMATE CHANGE

Guest:  Jonathan Patz, MD, MPH, Director of UW’s Global Health Institute

“Climate change creates new risks and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in communities across the United States, presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth.” This statement is just one of many dire predictions reported in the recently released Fourth National Climate Assessment. In fact, a new study shows global temperatures might be rising faster than expected.

“Climate change isn’t just an environmental concern – it’s the most important public health challenge of our time,” states Jonathan Patz. On this program, Dr. Patz describes how climate change can affect health both directly and indirectly. He also updates us on the Trump Administration’s threat to have the United States leave the Paris Climate Agreement which would make the U.S. the only country in the world not participating.

For 15 years, Dr. Patz served as a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the organization that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. He also co-chaired the health expert panel of the first U.S. National Assessment on Climate Change, a report that is mandated by the U.S. Congress.

A CONVERSATION WITH STATE SENATOR FRED RISSER

Guest:  Wisconsin State Senator Fred Risser

The number 13 may just be State Senator Fred Risser’s lucky number. With the inauguration of Tony Evers, that will be the 13th Governor Senator Risser will serve under as a member of the Wisconsin Legislature. The previous 12 governors were evenly divided between 6 Republicans and 6 Democrats.

“The pendulum always swings,” says Sen. Risser. And he speaks from experience. Poised to go into his 63rd year in the Wisconsin Legislature, State Senator Fred Risser can officially claim the titles of Longest Serving State Legislator in Wisconsin history and the Longest Serving State Legislator in United States history.

On this program Sen. Risser shares secrets of how he has been able to maintain his health and vigor for work and life. “I’ve never used the elevator in the Capitol for one thing. I always take the stairs,” he stated. “I also was blessed with good genes, and I never smoked.” Each year on his birthday, he also rides a mile on his bicycle for every year of his life. This past May, he rode 91 miles.

Fred Risser is also passionate about Wisconsin and hasn’t lost his enthusiasm for representing a good part of Madison and the Village of Shorewood Hills as a Democrat. He takes us down memory lane recalling momentous moments in the Administrations of each of the governors he has served under and his own legislative challenges and accomplishments.

Senator Risser has been called “an institution within an institution.” and there is no sign that is going to change anytime soon. “Retirement’s never been a goal of mine,” he said.

CHRISTINE BEATTY HAS REDEFINED SENIOR LIVING

Guest: Christine Beatty, Retiring Director, Madison Senior Center

“Before we get to the fragile era in anyone’s life, we want older adults to be engaged in our community and active – and indeed they are,” says Christine Beatty, who is retiring as Director of the Madison Senior Center after 30 years of service. Christine Beatty has been a trailblazer for seniors and created a national model for senior centers across the country involving older adults in mainstream living as leaders, teachers and learners and providing balance and diverse programs that act as a model for aging.

On this program, Christine highlights some of the groundbreaking programs the Madison Senior Center has initiated under her leadership. Her purpose was not only to change the minds of the general public about the contribution that older adults can continue to make in the community, but she had to convince the elderly themselves that they had more to offer.

Christine Beatty may be retiring as Director of the Madison Senior Center, but she intends to walk the walk – roll up her sleeves and expand her experience and wisdom into a broader arena of bolstering the role of seniors in today’s society.

The Aging Mastery Program will be offered in 2019 beginning on January 7 from 5-8 pm at Warner Park Community Recreation Center. The fee is $49. If two people register together, the fee is $79. Call 266-6581 for registration and information.

JOHN AND BARBARA DEMAIN – 25 YEARS IN MADISON: A LOOK BACK

Guests: John and Barbara DeMain…

Yes, it has been 25 years since John DeMain accepted the baton at the Madison Symphony Orchestra, and John and Barbara DeMain made Madison their home. Some wonder, where did the time go? John and Barbara look back on the 25 years and see it as continuous moments of change on the cultural scene in the Greater Madison community and, on a personal note, a great place to raise their daughter, Jennifer.

On this program, Barbara and John DeMain weave between their personal and professional lives and interests to give us a glimpse into the life they enjoy together. Having the joy and benefits of music increasingly become part of the fabric of the community is a passion they both share.

Barbara and John DeMain, with Carol

OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR AFFORDABLE CARE ACT INSURANCE PLANS ENDS DECEMBER 15

Carol with guest Adam VanSpankeren

Guest:  Adam VanSpankeren, Lead Navigator, Covering Wisconsin, Inc.

Many people are confused about the status of the Affordable Care Act. Did it get repealed? Has it changed? “The Affordable Care Act is alive and well in Wisconsin, and not much has changed,” says Adam VanSpankeren. The essential benefits mandated in the Affordable Care Act remain in tact as do the subsidies to help people pay for their health insurance premiums based on their income. 80% of those who sign up receive a subsidy to help pay for their premium.

Among the benefits, the ACA ensures people cannot be refused coverage based on pre-existing conditions, cannot be charged different prices based on their health status, and cannot have annual and lifetime caps imposed on coverage by their health insurance provider. The health insurance providers are all private insurance companies whose ACA plans can be viewed and compared on healthcare.gov.

On this program, Adam VanSpankeren does a tutorial on the ACA and walks us through a typical appointment with an individual or family wishing to sign up for health insurance on the ACA marketplace. Many free resources are available to help consumers sign up for health insurance including insurance agents, brokers, navigators, certified application counselors and health system and qualified health plan financial counselors. Consumers should call 2-1-1 to connect to free enrollment help or go online to schedule an appointment at coveringwi.org/enroll. Consumers can also shop on their own online at healthcare.gov.

For 2019 coverage, consumers must renew or sign up for coverage by December 15.