Connecticut must lead the way on universal healthcare

Affordable, quality health care can’t become a luxury: it’s a fundamental need, and access to it must become a fundamental right. Creating a single-payer system is the most effective way to guarantee access to healthcare for every person. … It’s time for Congress to advance a public healthcare system that provides every American — and all 3.6 million Connecticut residents — with affordable, quality healthcare. If Congress refuses to do it in Washington, it’s up to us to do it here in Connecticut.

Protect your family from Meningitis B

As a public health advocate, I work each day to educate families and health care providers about the importance and availability of vaccines. As a parent, my top priority is the health and safety of my children. So, it was surprising to me when I recently encountered a potential issue in getting my son immunized against a deadly, yet vaccine-preventable disease — Meningitis B.

Connecticut’s Medicaid efficiency is at the providers’ expense

If Connecticut residents are wondering what Connecticut’s “secret sauce” is to rank us tops in efficient Medicaid spending, it’s a combination of Inadequate and flat Medicaid reimbursement to home health providers, a State Plan Amendment cutting Medicaid behavioral home health nursing rates by 15 percent and other factors — all at the suffering and demise of our Medicaid provider community.

Time for Connecticut lawmakers to do the right thing for the disabled

Connecticut’s legislature, on a bi-partisan basis, has so far failed to do its most important job — adopt a budget. In response, the Gov. Dannel Malloy implemented an executive order to keep the state running that minimized its impact on the State’s Department of Developmental Services employees while devastating our most vulnerable citizens. Leaders can attempt to minimize the amount of damage inflicted, but if you are an individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), this executive order is the shut off notice from the electric company.

Medicare for all: The best replacement for Obamacare

The only viable solution to our ongoing national healthcare crisis has waited in the wings for a long time.  Teddy Roosevelt included the idea in his 1912 platform. President Truman proposed it in 1945.  President Johnson succeeded —partly– with Medicare.  Now more than ever, single payer national health insurance needs to move to the national stage for serious consideration.

Executive order budget undermines long-term health savings

Gov. Dannel Malloy’s Executive Order calls for a 5-10 percent reimbursement cut to non-profits as well as eliminating “add-on” payments to Medicaid home health providers serving the State’s most vulnerable in our inner cities. The financial impact of this action hurts Connecticut, its taxpayers, and our Medicaid program by jeopardizing the viability of the cost-effective healthcare provider network that creates a state savings of more than $100-million each year for the CT Dept. of Social Services (DSS).

Let’s protect health care, not politicize it further

In a June 19, 2017 press release, Sens. Len Fasano and Kevin Kelly decried the partisan nature of Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy’s recent hearings on health care. Fasano and Kelly called for a bipartisan forum that includes insurance and healthcare professionals. Appropriate as that would be, the press release itself was a highly partisan statement that undercut the call for bipartisanship.

Budget solution: Change the way Connecticut provides services

Let’s start with the harsh reality: beginning the new fiscal year without a state budget will result in human services agencies across Connecticut cutting services and closing doors. Yet since January, leaders of community nonprofits have offered a way to save $300 million over the biennium while re-investing that savings to people in need, by shifting more services from more expensive state government agencies into the nonprofit sector.

American healthcare at the crossroads

So now we have health plan proposals from both Republican controlled houses of Congress. Let’s strip away for a moment the mountain of detail that defines these proposals and drill down to the core message; the federal government has no business ensuring that all its citizens have access to affordable, quality healthcare. The Democratic position is exactly the opposite, the federal government must work to ensure quality and affordable healthcare for all. This is an ideologic clash no less monumental than that which occurred over slavery in the mid 19th Century and its role in American Society.

People with bipolar illness are normal

Bipolar illness is a psychiatric condition that is frequently misunderstood. Also known as manic depression, bipolar disorder affects about 1 percent of the population in the United States, and the public must be educated to better understand the illness and to become more aware of the symptoms. Bipolar illness affects the mind through periods of depression and mania. Depending on the severity of the disorder, the levels of mania and depression can vary.

Men, testing for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases is important

June 12-18 was National Men’s Health Week, and Planned Parenthood of Southern New England encourages men to take charge of their sexual health with regular checkups, screenings, and testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. Regular checkups can keep a person healthy and can find health problems before they become serious. Free HIV testing will be available at PPSNE health centers in Connecticut on Tuesday, June 27, and in Rhode Island on Wednesday, June 28.