Back to school: Has your teenager had an annual primary care visit?

Aaron, his mother, and I sit together in my pediatric primary care office. He is 16 years old. We discuss his sleep schedule, nutrition, and after-school activities.  He’s trying out for the football team, and we talk a lot about concussion safety. He is doing well in school. His physical exam is completely normal. He’s the picture of health — normal weight, blood pressure is perfect, heart sounds are steady and regular, his muscles and joints ready for football practice. I make sure he is up to date with his immunizations. But what I don’t see in his exam —and what Aaron and I need to talk about— are the three most common causes of death in his age group: 1) accidents 2) suicide 3) homicide.

Trump’s trade war threatens Connecticut’s fragile economy

Today, Connecticut exports over $14 billion worth of goods to every part of the world, including transportation equipment, manufactured goods, electronic products and electrical equipment. The state’s major exporters include one of our premier companies, Pratt & Whitney, which employs more than 9,500 state residents with worldwide revenues topping $14 billion. Pratt’s commercial airplane engines currently power more than 25 percent of the world’s passenger aircraft fleet with customers in 160 countries.

The GOP: Afflicting the afflicted, comforting the comfortable

Republicans will likely do for Connecticut what they have done for other states and at national level: namely, cut taxes for their wealthy donors, make it harder to vote, make abortion inaccessible, reduce public employee pensions, promote private schools and vouchers, bust unions, loosen gun controls, allow discrimination again, break down the wall between church and State, cut social programs including health care, but ramp up corporate welfare.

Lawmakers let Connecticut sex traffickers off the hook

Little attention had been paid to a proposed bill — An Act Concerning Human Trafficking — that unfortunately died at the end of the 2018 Legislative Session. Given the significant attention and gains that Connecticut has made in recent years in the fight against human trafficking, it was a heartfelt defeat. For nearly a decade, Connecticut has been a leader in the nation in human trafficking reforms that better protect victims, more vigorously prosecute traffickers, and prevent continued victimization.

The Automotive-Construction Complex or why we love our cars so much

How did Americans develop their love affair with driving? Visit the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington and the transportation exhibit “America on the Move” will sell you on the commonly held theory that when Henry Ford made cars affordable, Americans loved them and demanded more and more highways. But University of Virginia history Professor Peter Norton, author of “Fighting Traffic:  The Dawn of the Motor Age in American cities” says that’s a myth.  Just as outgoing President Dwight Eisenhower warned us of the military industrial complex, Norton says an automotive–construction complex took over our country, paving from coast to coast.

It’s time for Connecticut to adopt paid family leave

The governor of Massachusetts signed a bill into law recently that would create a paid family and medical leave program, which will go into effect in 2021. Massachusetts’ paid leave program is similar to one that was recently enacted in New York state, as well as a program has been proposed in the Connecticut state legislature. It is time for Connecticut to act by passing a bill during the next legislative session to create a paid family and medical leave program in our state.

Tong: I will oppose the assault on women’s reproductive rights

The President’s war on our fundamental rights is now focused squarely on a woman’s right to choose.  It comes as no surprise that a male President — distinguished by his abject disregard for women and the rights of others, generally — seeks to dismantle a well-established system of reproductive liberty and women’s self-determination that most Americans embraced for a generation.

Childhood challenges within our borders, not just at them

For the past few weeks, stories about the separation of children from their parents at our borders have been everywhere. For people of compassion, it’s been brutally difficult to see the images and hear the cries of children going through such terrible experiences. What has been less discussed over the last few weeks is the fact that, in under-resourced communities across our state and nation, children go through experiences that can lead to PTSD and complex trauma on a daily basis.

Income equality, not inequality, that won out in 2016

I have long suspected that the statistics used by progressive advocates to complain about income inequality in America were either flawed or misrepresented. In the June 25 edition of the Wall Street Journal an opinion piece co-authored by Phil Gramm, a former chairman of the Senate banking committee, and Robert B. Ekelund, Jr., a professor emeritus in economics at Auburn University, bore out my suspicions.