GOP lust to defund Planned Parenthood could exact heavy price

With the election of a Republican president and control of the U.S. Congress by Republicans, you’d think Planned Parenthood is in trouble. Defunding the reproductive health organization has been for years a rallying cry among Republicans, especially Christian conservatives opposed to abortion. With the GOP now in power, it would seem the tide has finally turned. It hasn’t. In fact, Planned Parenthood has the advantage.

High times? A new low for Connecticut

…Legalizing marijuana for “recreation” is a draconian shift in public policy and a shock to our social mores and societal health. Legalized marijuana will indelibly change Connecticut; the state will become a different place, coarser and with a more ambiguous future. Many people who would otherwise avoid this drug will use it. And why not? It will be marketed as exciting and essentially harmless. Even though legalization would be intended for adults, barriers would be porous and easily breached. And the message that legalization sends, both insidious and hypocritical, would not be lost on the young. They will get it, consume it and use will spike. And then …

Cutting Help Me Grow program will inflict collateral damage

In his proposed budget, Gov. Dannel Malloy has targeted Help Me Grow, a program of Connecticut’s Office of Early Childhood, for elimination. The mandated reconciliation of the state budget deficit creates, by necessity, a painful dilemma akin to Hobson’s choice. However, certain decisions provoke unintended collateral damage. Such is the case with Help Me Grow.

Fixes for the ACA from someone who actually works with it

With Congress beginning the process of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, I am hearing a lot of questions about what comes next. People have suggested that Republicans have no ideas as to how to improve the situation, and many are worried we will go from the frying pan into the fire, so to speak. So as a proud Republican, who also happens to be an insurance agent having to deal with this law on a daily basis, I offer the following as ideas for a better way forward.

Mr. Ryan, the Affordable Care Act saved my husband’s life

Dear Mr. Paul Ryan, I am writing you about the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act. I write to you as a mom, wife, daughter and friend of those whose lives have been helped in many crucial —several life-saving– ways by the ACA, and who stand a lot to lose by its repeal, whether or not they even know it.

Nonprofits must be part of CT health, social service and budget solutions

Amid the negativity and divisiveness this election season, one issue has brought together Americans from across the country and both sides of the political aisle: the role of charitable nonprofits. In a recent report, nearly three quarters of those surveyed said they trust public charities with their checkbooks more than government and want to see expanded access to charitable giving.

A visit from St. LaPierre

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the bunker,
alarm codes were set; we were ready to hunker.
The children were nestled all snug in their cots
and protected by spring guns. (Each held 17 shots.)

Our holsters were hung by the bedstead with care,
with hopes that St. LaPierre soon would be there…. (cont.)

In opioid crisis, a call to action for advanced practice nurses

Rates of opioid abuse and heroin use have reached epidemic proportions in Connecticut. According to government statistics, accidental deaths rose from 357 in 2012 to 723 in 2015 — 53 percent of those involving heroin. That is a 102 percent increase in lives lost in a three-year period. Not only do individuals and families suffer but the financial implications are also substantial.

CT Health Care Cabinet proposal will hurt doctor-patient relationship

A state committee that most people have never heard of, the Health Care Cabinet, is planning to damage health care in Connecticut by disrupting the only thing that’s really working for us right now – our doctor-patient relationships. I am a breast cancer survivor and caregiver to my severely injured husband. Our family has spent years struggling with Connecticut’s broken, insurance-driven health system. We know how badly the system needs reform, but the Cabinet, whose mandate is to find practical fixes, is making a big mistake by focusing on the wrong thing.