Steve went to Congress and got things done.
Dr. Kagen ran for public office for the first time in his life to guarantee access to health care for all of us – and he succeeded.
He ended discrimination against patients with pre-existing medical conditions – and now no family will go broke and lose their home just because a child has a serious accident or becomes ill.
Dr. Kagen ran for Congress to bring our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan – and he succeeded.
He worked hard to ship our values overseas instead of our jobs by promoting balanced trade deals with all nations, especially China.
Dr. Kagen helped enact laws to protect and conserve our environment, including the Great Lakes Compact, the Great Lakes Restoration Act, and Clean Air and Clean Water Acts.
He helped write the 2008 Farm Bill to improve the health of Wisconsin farm families and the health of all our children, creating childhood anti-obesity programs and the Grow Local Buy Local policy, bringing locally grown foods into public schools.
No Wisconsin 8th District Representative has done more to grow Wisconsin’s economy, educate our children, protect our environment, and care for our veterans and senior citizens than Dr. Steve Kagen.
And the results show:
- A new Veterans Outpatient Clinic and Surgical Center in Green Bay
- 6,000 Jobs to build LCS Navy ships in Marinette and Sturgeon Bay
- Enacted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, preventing a depression
- Enacted 16 small business tax cuts and lower taxes on working class heroes
- Enacted Clean Water and Clean Air laws and restored the Fox River locks system
- Enacted the Great Lakes Compact and Great Lakes Restoration Act, protecting America’s greatest freshwater resource
- Delivered Jobs to Oshkosh truck, protecting our brave soldiers in harms way
- Created a new welding program at NWTC to boost Wisconsin manufacturing
- Lowered costs for college and increased Pell Grants and the Minimum Wage
- Saved Wisconsin’s SeniorCare prescription drug program for seniors in need
- Rebuilt Highway 41 and Wisconsin bridges, schools and water treatment plants
- Enacted Equal Pay for Equal Work and protected women’s health care choices
- Enacted strong financial reforms to better regulate banks on Wall Street … and
- Increased Veterans health care funding and enacted the 21st Century G.I. Bill.
Dr. Kagen is a Champion for America's working class heroes.
The Kagen family has been building better communities in Wisconsin since 1948, helping to make health care a right, not a privilege.
Family and Business Life
Steve Kagen grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin with his father and mother Dr. Marv and Virginia Kagen, brother Charlie, and sister Suzanne. In the late 1940's, Steve's father helped form the Democratic Party of Wisconsin with late U.S. Senators Gaylord Nelson and Bill Proxmire, Governor Pat Lucey and others; and in the 1960s, the entire Kagen family marched for Equal Rights with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Steve attended Appleton's public schools, graduating from Appleton East in 1968, and he earned an Honors Degree in Molecular Biology in 1972 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he also earned his M.D. in 1976.
Dr. Steve Kagen is Board Certified in Internal Medicine; Allergy-Immunology; and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology, and served as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Allergy-Immunology at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Zablocki Veterans Administration Medical Center in Milwaukee from 1981-2006.
In 1981, Steve returned to Appleton with his wife, Gayle, where they raised and educated their four children and opened Kagen Allergy Clinics in Appleton, Green Bay, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac. (KagenAllergy.com)
The Kagen children followed in their family's tradition of caring for others. Melissa is an Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner (APNP) caring for our military veterans and their families in our nation's largest VA mental health hospital in the U.S.A.; Mike is a physician specializing in Internal Medicine and former U.S. and North American Champion Olympic style long track speed skater; Tom is an artist specializing in furniture design at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design; and Stephanie is an Intensive Care Unit nurse in Wisconsin. Like their parents, the Kagen Kids have an uncompromising concern for their communities.
State Champion: Track, Speed Skating, Cycling
In 1966, Steve was a Wisconsin State Champion in track (Monona Grove Relays 4x100 relay), and a State Champion in speed skating in 1973. Kagen was also a Wisconsin Lowenbrau Cycling Champion in 1982.
Consultant in Marketing and Health Care
CNN – Dr. Kagen was the exclusive Allergy Consultant to CNN, CNN Headline News, CNN Airport News and CNN Interactive from 1995 - 2002, having previously been an Allergy Consultant to the Weather Channel. Kagen also created the nation's first premier allergy and asthma website: Allernet.com®
Johnson & Johnson – Steve helped develop a national radio marketing campaign for Tylenol Allergy Sinus®.
Kimberly-Clark (K-C) – Dr. Kagen created Helpful Hints for Allergy Sufferers© on millions of Kleenex® tissue boxes, educating consumers about allergy and asthma.
The Weather Channel – Dr. Kagen created the first broadcast-ready computer animations of airborne pollens and mold spores as the owner of NPN® (National Pollen Network®) which were shown on television weather reports in association with daily pollen and mold spore levels.
Allergy and Asthma Research
In addition to caring for patients, Steve is also an accomplished research scientist, having discovered many new causes of allergy with his colleague R. Muthiah, PhD. Kagen and Muthiah were the first to standardize allergen vaccines for the treatment of allergic rhinitis and asthma.
Kagen and Muthiah earned a U.S. patent for discovering a major worldwide allergenic protein in the storage mite, L. destructor.Dr. Kagen also developed the first test-yourself kit for AIDS, the first blood test for Lyme disease in Wisconsin, and was the first to clone a gene from an allergen present worldwide.
Community Service Awards and Recognition
Best Doctors in America – Wisconsin physicians voted Dr. Kagen as one of the "Best Doctors in America” and served on the Board of Directors of the Joint Council of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology from 1988 to 1992.
Patriot Award – Kagen received the Patriot Award from his high school alma mater, Appleton East High School, for his extensive public service.
EPA Award – In 2005, Steve was honored nationally by the G.W. Bush administration's Environmental Protection Agency for creating a fifth-grade allergy and asthma education program to protect children from environmental risks – The Allergy Family Guide®.
ThedaCare Cancer Center – Steve and Gayle Kagen helped establish the Martha Seikman Cancer Center at Appleton Medical Center in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Children's Museum – Steve and Gayle Kagen were honored with the Founders' Award by the Fox Cities' Children's Museum for their contributions to its success.
Congressional Recognition Awards – Local, state and national business and social organizations recognized Congressman Kagen for his efforts to grow our economy, protect our nation and secure access to health care for all of us while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In addition to his scientific publications, Steve has authored a number of patient education books about allergy and asthma, including Allergy InsideOut®, The Allergy Family Guide® and The Aeroallergen PhotoLibrary of North America®.
Election to Congress
In 2006, Dr. Kagen was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives forty years after his father, Marv Kagen, M.D., ran for the same office as a Peace candidate against the War in Vietnam. Steve and his father created the Ten Principles of Health Care Reform, on which Steve based his 2006 congressional campaign.
Kagen defeated the Republican Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly, John Gard, in 2006, and defeated Gard again in 2008.
He became the 2nd Democrat to win two terms in Wisconsin's Republican leaning 8th District. Father Robert Cornell being the 1st Democrat to do so.
Kagen served in the House of Representatives during the greatest financial, economic, and health care crises since the Great Depression – including simultaneous meltdowns in the U.S. housing and automobile industries.
Dr. Kagen explained that the destruction of America's middle-class was caused by unbalanced, unfair trade deals (NAFTA and CAFTA) enacted by both Democratic and Republican administrations, which allowed higher-wage American jobs to be shipped overseas.
Kagen promoted fiscally responsible and socially progressive policies. Kagen said, “Never forget, how we got into this mess. President Bush and the Republican Party failed to pay for two wars at the same time, two tax cuts to the rich, a $400 billion handout to Big Drug, and then at the end President Bush bailed out his friends in Big Banks on Wall Street.”
Kagen served with House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey, who said, “We're cleaning up after the biggest elephant parade in American history.”
No Discrimination In Health Care
Dr. Kagen ran for Congress to end discrimination in health care – and he succeeded.
Kagen's No Discrimination in Health Care legislation outlawed insurance companies from discriminating against citizens because of the way they were born or if they had a pre-existing medical condition.
In 2006, Dr. Kagen campaigned and won on his platform called No Patient Left Behind, winning 5 New American Freedoms for all Americans, including:
- Freedom from Discrimination due to pre-existing illnesses.
- Freedom from going broke if you become seriously ill.
- Freedom to choose your own doctor.
- Freedom from being dropped by your insurer due to a serious illness.
- Freedom to go to the closest Emergency Room when necessary.
Dr. Kagen fought hard to secure Transparency in All Health Care Pricing, to guarantee all prices for health care products and services are always openly disclosed to the public, including on the Internet.
Dr. Kagen still believes everyone should be able to shop online for the highest quality care at the best possible price.
Dr. Kagen delivered a new Vet Center and a new VA Outpatient Surgical Center and Community-Based Outpatient Clinic to Green Bay, enabling Wisconsin Veterans and their families to receive the care they need closer to home. The new VA clinic will also generate millions of dollars of private investments in the area.
Dr. Kagen spoke out repeatedly against U.S. military involvements in religious civil wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He also helped to enact the largest increase in funding for Veterans' health care, active duty pay raises, extension of the first-time homebuyer's tax credit for service men and women overseas, and the new 21st Century G.I. Bill.
Along with Congressman Barney Frank, Dr. Kagen wrote legislation to cover all Vietnam Vets for cancers caused by Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. Sadly, it has not yet been enacted.
Agent Orange Bill - HR 3491 | [PDF]
LCS Navy Ship Contract
Along with Michigan Representative Bart Stupak, Dr. Kagen led the effort to win the Navy's Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) contract (picture link here) in Marinette, Wisconsin, which will create over 5,000 jobs and pump over $5 billion into the NE Wisconsin and Upper Michigan economy.
The contract awarded to Marinette Marine is the largest single federal investment in Wisconsin history.
Oshkosh Truck Contracts
Oshkosh, an area military and commercial truck manufacturer and its subsidiary Pierce Manufacturing, were awarded several contracts with Congressman Kagen's assistance, generating thousands of new jobs and billions of federal tax dollars into the regional economy.
One of the contracts was to build the new MRAP trucks to protect soldiers from land mines – improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Highway 41 Construction
Kagen brought back $1 billion in federal tax dollars to expand Highway 41 in Outagamie, Brown and other counties, leading to Hwy 41 becoming an Interstate Highway.
Dr. Kagen secured funding for a new welding school at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC); and millions of federal dollars to the 11 counties he served, helping to grow the area's economy.
Lowest Taxes Since 1950
Dr. Kagen delivered lower taxes for working class families, enacting 16 different cuts in taxes for small business owners, students and homeowners. In fact, taxes had not been that low since 1950.
Kagen voted consistently against so-called “Free Trade” deals that rewarded corporations for shipping American jobs overseas, and he authored new legislation that would have balanced U.S. trade deals and punished nations who failed to adopt our Clean Water and Clean Air standards.
Balanced Trade Act - HR 6258 | [PDF]
Dr. Kagen protected everyone who depends upon their well-deserved Social Security benefits.
Help for Small Business Owners
As a small business owner, Dr. Kagen understands small business owners.
In 2009, Kagen authored the HIRING Act to reward small businesses with tax credits when hiring unemployed workers. Kagen's HIRING Act bill was inserted into the Senate's HIRE Act, which created 5.6 million jobs between February and June 2010.
In addition to the HIRING Act, Kagen helped pass legislation that lowered overhead expenses immediately for small businesses, including zero taxes on capital gains, immediate write-downs for capital purchases, a 5-year “carry back” for any business losses during the previous 5 years, an increase in the amount of tax deductions from $5,000 to $10,000 for start-up businesses, and accelerated depreciation of capital assets – all of which helped small businesses survive the Great Recession.
Congressman Kagen also created the first small business caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Congressional Business Owners Caucus to promote the needs of America's biggest job creators.
Altogether, Kagen helped pass 16 different tax cuts for small business owners.
Education & Minimum Wage Increase
Dr. Kagen voted to increase the Minimum Wage, to invest heavily in the education of all children by increasing Pell Grants, to extend benefits for people who remained unemployed during the Great Recession through no fault of their own, and to lower the cost for college and technical school by creating government-direct student loans.
Paying Our Debts
In his last House Floor speech in December 2010, Kagen spoke against extending tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires.
The American Recovery
To prevent an economic depression, Kagen voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – the boldest action ever taken by any government in human history, and it worked.
Over $4 billion was awarded to Wisconsin in the Recovery Act. In addition to funding necessary public education/school projects and airport reconstruction at Outagamie County and Austin Straubel airports, thousands of jobs were created and/or saved by investing in a new oceanic research vessel at Marinette Marine, delivering $184 million to Appleton paper corporation and COBRA / health care coverage to >34,000 unemployed workers across NE Wisconsin, tax credits to 25,600 students, an $8,000 tax credit to all first-time homebuyers, $400 to $800 to 181,000 working families, an earned income tax credit to 61,000 households and $250 to >100,000 senior citizens on Social Security.
Everyone in the 8th District of Wisconsin benefited from Dr. Kagen's efforts.
Bringing It Back to Wisconsin
No 8th District congressman compares with Dr. Kagen's results in bringing our federal tax dollars back to NE Wisconsin. During Kagen's four years of service, the 11 counties Kagen represented benefited greatly from his efforts to bring back our federal tax dollars.
Eighth District Investments | [PDF]
Financial Reforms and Fiscal Responsibility
One of Dr. Kagen's first votes was to enact Pay-As-We-Go Rules in the House of Representatives, rules that were successful during the Clinton Presidency to balance federal budgets.
These responsible spending rules had been eliminated by the G.W. Bush administration; Kagen believed these essential spending rules would allow the government to balance its budget and enable us to pay down our national debts over time.
Dr. Kagen also worked hard with Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter and Florida Rep. Ron Klein to enact critical financial reforms to establish effective oversight over both big banks on Wall Street and the Federal Reserve.
The financial reforms enacted brought an end to “Too Big To Fail” bringing transparency and responsible regulations to the derivatives markets, tougher mortgage reforms, anti-predatory lending practices, reforms addressing credit agencies activities, and plugged the regulatory hole that had allowed hedge funds to avoid regulatory oversight.Rebuilding Main Street, Through Small Business And Banks | [PDF]
Protecting consumers, Kagen also supported passage of the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau to establish fair competition between large and small financial entities.
Energy Independence and Oil Prices
In 2007, Dr. Kagen passed legislation (NOPEC) through the House with bipartisan support, to begin to eliminate the OPEC cartel's monopoly, which would have allowed the U.S. Attorney general to investigate and prosecute manipulation of oil prices by either speculators or monopolistic Arabian OPEC members.
Sherman Act Amendment - HR 6074 | [PDF]
Promoting energy independence, Dr. Kagen wrote new legislation, Cleaner Trucks for America (HR 650), to enable all diesel truck engines in the U.S. to convert to America's own natural gas, creating thousands of new jobs, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and cleaning the air we breath in the process. T. Boone Pickens supported Dr. Kagen's effort, but this bill never came before the House for a vote.
Protecting Our Environment
Gulf Oil Spill
In 2010, during the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Dr. Kagen asked British Petroleum (BP) to immediately pay $25 billion into a fund to begin restoring the environment and compensate those affected by the disaster.
Kagen's interrogation of the CEOs from BP and Transocean also raised the issues of measuring the amount of oil being leaked into the Gulf and raised concerns about the presence of arsenic in the agent being used to dissolve the oil, Corexit.
Following Kagen's lead, President Obama demanded and received $20 billion from BP to immediately compensate those injured or killed and to restore both the Gulf environment and the Gulf coast economy.
Dr. Kagen voted for passage of both the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, and also took actions necessary to protect the Great Lakes. Kagen led the Wisconsin delegation to enact the Great Lakes Compact, which protects waters within the Great Lakes Basin. Kagen also voted to enact the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to combat invasive species, cleanup toxic areas of concern, and conserve wetlands throughout the Great Lakes.
Dr. Kagen was one of the most consistent supporters of the environment in the House.
Dr. Kagen cosponsored and voted for legislation that would have made it possible for working class heroes to form effective collective bargaining unions as easily as it was to eliminate them, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).
If enacted, EFCA would have required employers and related unions to enter into binding arbitration within 120 days after a union was recognized, and it would have increased penalties on employers for discriminating against people involved in union activities. The U.S. Senate failed to reach the 60-vote margin necessary to put EFCA on the Senate Floor for a vote.
Equality for Women
Dr. Kagen supported enactment of Equal Pay for Women during the first few weeks of the Obama administration and never backed down from supporting Equal Rights for Women to make their own health care choices.
Civil Rights and 2nd Amendment
To protect our rights, Dr. Kagen voted against the PATRIOT Act, and he consistently voted to support the rights of citizens to bear arms. Dr. Kagen voted to ban torture and to bring those responsible for torture to justice. Kagen helped end discrimination against members of our armed forces based on sexual preferences, repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell policies. Dr. Kagen also voted to enact the Dream Act (HR 5281) on December 8, 2010, saying, "We're a nation of immigrants and by supporting legal immigration America will remain vibrant, independent and free."
Audit Federal Reserve
Dr. Kagen was the first Member of Congress to join Ron Paul's effort to audit the Federal Reserve (HR 1207).
List of Cosponsors - HR 1207 | [PDF]
Steve went to Congress and got things done.
Dr. Kagen is a Champion for people just like us – America's working class heroes.