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As a new governor prepares to enter office, improving health care in Wisconsin should be a top priority.

Gov.-elect Tony Evers, a cancer survivor, has publicly stated that assuring access to affordable health care will be a top priority.

Patients with asthma need access to quality and affordable health care to obtain the medications and treatments necessary to manage this disease and live a healthy life.

Medicaid is an especially important program for asthma patients, as half of all kids with asthma in the United States get their health insurance coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

However, Wisconsin’s Medicaid program, which provides medical coverage for 42,000 Wisconsin children with asthma, needs to improve its coverage so that they can breathe easier and avoid asthma emergencies.

Wisconsin doesn’t fully cover all the treatments doctors recommend, including patient self-management education in a variety of settings.

These preventive services can keep people with asthma out of the emergency department and reduce health-care costs.

Gov.-elect Evers should work to close these gaps during the upcoming legislative session.

Todd A. Mahr, Onalaska

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Dr.  Todd A. Mahr is a volunteer for the American Lung Association.