Minimum wage hike may have drawbacks

ImageA raise for the nation’s lowest earners has some support, but an increase may not have the intended effect of lowering the poverty rates.

Some businesses, economists and even workers question the effectiveness of a minimum wage increase.

Most everyone at Great Harvest Bread in De Pere earns more than the minimum wage, but with an increase of $1.75 an hour being proposed by the Obama administration, that probably would not be the case, said Brent Felchlin, manager of the bakery at 802 George St.

An increase would force him to “metaphorically tighten the labor belt to the tightest notch,” he said. “We’d be pushing people to do the best work they can as fast as they can, with an in-and-out philosophy. Labor is one of the things that can make or break a business.”

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The return of the house call

WI_GBPThe idea of a doctor making a house call may seem too good to be true.

But some physicians deliver exactly that level of care to their patients.

Tom Zenner, a family medicine doctor for Bellin Health, is one of the physicians honoring the tradition. He said he’s “semi-retired,” but still sees about 15 patients a week, mostly seniors, in their homes or assisted living centers.

The Kewaunee doctor has been making the visits for about 32 years. When he started, “it just seemed like the right thing to do,” Zenner said.

The practice may be unique, but it saves money and allows health care providers to get more information about their patients than they would have during an office visit. It allows physicians to monitor a patient’s environment, assessing a number of factors, including risk, nutrition, obstacles and barriers.

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