Sen. Tim Cullen recovering after heart surgery

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Jim Leute
Tuesday, December 17, 2013

JANESVILLE—State Sen. Tim Cullen said Tuesday that he underwent successful open heart/valve replacement surgery earlier this month at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Cullen, D-Janesville, is recovering at home and fully expects to return for the January legislative session. However, he will miss Thursday's special session, where the Senate will consider Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to delay health care to 83,000 low-income childless adults in Wisconsin.

Cullen's surgery was not an emergency procedure, he said. He has been aware of the problems since his annual checkup in April. Cullen believed his heart health was fine and that he had not experienced any adverse symptoms at any time. He had attempted to deal with the problem with medication until his doctor told him he needed surgery so the condition did not worsen.

Cullen said he is in contact with his staff daily. Residents of the 15th Senate District will continue to receive constituent service while he recovers.

Cullen said he regrets missing the Senate debate on Walker's proposal to delay health care coverage for 83,000 of Wisconsin's poorest individuals for at least three months.

A number of these 83,000 Wisconsinites might be experiencing no symptoms even if they do have heart disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, or any number of other serious illnesses, he said. They will be forced under Walker's health care delay proposal to wait at least an additional three months to detect and treat these illnesses.

Cullen has health insurance that allowed him to receive regular checkups to monitor his heart health. He was able to receive medical attention before the condition got worse. Under Walker's plan, Cullen said 83,000 childless adults would be denied—for at least three months—access to the same type of preventative care, which could have deadly consequences.

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