Vipond challenges Sensenbrenner for US House of Representatives

August 3, 2018 GMT

BROOKFIELD -- Dr. Jennifer Hoppe Vipond is challenging U.S. Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner in the Aug. 14 Republican primary for U.S. House of Representatives in Wisconsin’s District No. 5.

As the primary election approaches, she spoke to the Daily Times regarding why she chose to challenge the longtime representative of southeastern Wisconsin, along with elements of her platform.

“I entered the GOP race to replace Congressman Sensenbrenner because I am frustrated by the lack of a sensible approach to health care policy,” Vipond said. “The GOP primary is Aug. 14 and I’m asking for your vote. A vote for Vipond will be a vote to send a ‘Prescription for Change’ to Washington, D.C.”

Vipond said she respects Sensenbrenner’s decades of service, but for years Congress has issued policies to shift rather than reduce health care costs. She said this has resulted in American families “being crushed by out of control increases in the cost of care.”

“We need sustainable health care policies now,” she said. “As a physician, I have practical solutions to reduce health care costs. I will work to develop a policy based on price transparency, consumer-driven price reduction, bundling of payments, expanded HSAs and population health systems. With a fresh approach to health care delivery and billing, my employer has been able to reduce costs for Medicare patients by 28 percent, while at the same time improving the quality of care. These are the health care changes we should be promoting at a federal level and we need physician guidance to ensure that the decisions made have input from a representative with a true understanding of what is happening to real people who need health care help.”

In the last 10 years, Vipond said, she has seen very little meaningful legislation to combat the opioid epidemic. As a pediatrician, she said she has seen the effects of the opioid epidemic in all of its forms.

“I have had patients die of overdose. I have had patients left orphaned and in foster care. I have seen the struggles of grandparents and other family members who struggle to keep families together. I have seen children subjected to horrible abuse while their parents were incapacitated,” she said.

She said the Ensuring Patient Access and Drug Enforcement Act of 2015, for example, supported by pharmaceutical companies and coincidentally passed unanimously by Congress, worsened the crisis and allowed huge shipments of pain pills to flood small town America. Bills that offer hope are grossly underfunded, according to Vipond.

“Clearly, we need an experienced physician rather than special interest-funded lawyers to address this problem,” she said. “I will not be a career politician and do not have or need the baggage of special interest support. I will be working for the American people and specifically for the people of District 5. I will take a break from my practice for a maximum of six years to work toward these and several other goals including workforce development and school safety.”

Jennifer Hoppe Vipond was born and raised in Wauwatosa in Wisconsin’s 5th District, and has practiced as a pediatrician in Waukesha County for more than 25 years.