CT News Junkie

A Connecticut news site that understands the usual media offerings just…aren’t…enough.

Public Health

January 25, 2018

ANALYSIS | CT Health Reform Reaches New Low, But There Are Hints Of Optimism

by Ellen Andrews | Jan 25, 2018 10:42am
Posted to: Analysis | Health Care | Insurance | Opinion | Health Care Opinion | Public Health


Connecticut healthcare thoughtleaders gave our state a “C” for health reform this year, the lowest grade in our survey’s five years. None of the dozens of leaders across Connecticut’s health care system who responded to the survey gave the state an “A.”

The biggest losses this year were in Medicaid and data-based policymaking, but performance in every issue area has eroded. As in the past Connecticut rated a slightly higher C+ grade for effort. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not.

In the annual survey we ask Connecticut doctors, nurses, hospitals, other providers, reporters, insurance executives, academics, community and faith-based organizations, labor, employers, trade and industry associations, business leaders, brokers, payers, foundations, and consumer advocates for their assessment of our state’s progress, but this year we also asked about the impact of changes at the state and federal level and for their best advice to the next Governor. There is a lot of wisdom for policymakers in their responses.

Continue reading "ANALYSIS | CT Health Reform Reaches New Low, But There Are Hints Of Optimism" »

January 15, 2018

Rough First 2 Weeks For State’s New, $140M Medicaid Transportation Vendor

by Christine Stuart | Jan 15, 2018 5:29am
Posted to: Child Welfare | Consumer Protection | Federal Budget | Health Care | Mental Health Care | Insurance | Labor | Legal | Public Health | Disability Care | Poverty | Transportation

Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie
(UPDATED Monday, 1:15 p.m.) HARTFORD, CT — Michelle Chase uses the state’s non-emergency medical transportation service to get her developmentally disabled 3-year-old to her doctor appointments. But since Jan. 1, she’s had to wait two or three hours for the state’s new transportation contractor, Veyo, to arrange her rides.

She’s not the only one.

Continue reading "Rough First 2 Weeks For State’s New, $140M Medicaid Transportation Vendor" »

January 10, 2018

OP-ED | Prescription Costs Are Squeezing Out Other Connecticut Priorities, But We Have Options

by Ellen Andrews | Jan 10, 2018 11:30am
Posted to: Analysis | Health Care | Insurance | Opinion | Health Care Opinion | Public Health | State Budget


Connecticut’s state budget is out of balance, reflecting the weakness in our state economy. Policymakers have been forced into compromising support for critical priorities, in healthcare and beyond.

Continue reading "OP-ED | Prescription Costs Are Squeezing Out Other Connecticut Priorities, But We Have Options" »

January 2, 2018

OP-ED | The Connecticut Juvenile Training School Is A Symbol

by Abby Anderson | Jan 2, 2018 12:07pm
Posted to: Child Welfare | Civil Liberties | Education | Juvenile Justice | Law Enforcement | Opinion | Nonprofits | Public Health | Poverty | Public Safety | Middletown

middletown press / hearst file photo
As we’ve consistently said during the two-year period since Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced that Connecticut’s prison for boys, the Connecticut Juvenile Training School (CJTS), would close, the goal should not be simply to close a building. In fact, in many ways CJTS is a symbol. It symbolizes what we believe about youth, their capacity to change, and their worth.

In calling for CJTS to close, we are NOT calling for the kids to simply be released home or to be kept in pre-trial detention. We are calling for the development of a juvenile justice system that works for even the most challenging youth with the most unacceptable behaviors.

Continue reading "OP-ED | The Connecticut Juvenile Training School Is A Symbol" »

December 14, 2017

OP-ED | Matthew Tirado’s Lesson: Disabled Children Need a Voice & DCF Must Change

by Susan Bigelow | Dec 14, 2017 10:30pm
Posted to: Analysis | Child Welfare | Courts | Education | Opinion | Public Health | Poverty | Public Safety


Of all the failures of our systems that led to the death from malnutrition of Matthew Tirado, a nonverbal autistic boy from Hartford, the judicial hearing held in December 2016 is what sticks with me. The Department of Children and Families argued to close Matthew’s case, without providing any evidence for why, and the judge agreed. The hearing took less than a minute. Two months later, Matthew was dead.

This week the Office of the Child Advocate, an essential watchdog agency that reviews cases like this, released its report on Matthew. It’s a hard read; Matthew and his younger sister suffered years of abuse. It culminated in their mother locking cabinets so Matthew couldn’t eat — she claimed he would eat until he made himself sick. He was forced to eat oil and ketchup and what he could find in the garbage, getting worse and worse until his reluctant mother, who knew he was starving, finally called for medical help. It was too late. Matthew died two hours later.

Continue reading "OP-ED | Matthew Tirado’s Lesson: Disabled Children Need a Voice & DCF Must Change" »

December 8, 2017

Sex Harassment Rocks Congress; Gov’t Shutdown Averted For Now; Gun Safety Fight to Continue

by Peter Urban | Dec 8, 2017 12:38pm
Posted to: Congress | DC News Junkie | Election 2018 | Equality | Federal Budget | Health Care | Law Enforcement | Public Health | Public Safety | Transparency | White House

Orhan Cam via shutterstock
In a week that saw the #MeToo “Silence Breakers” recognized as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, three members of Congress announced their resignations after each had been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior in the past.

Most notably was Minnesota Senator Al Franken, who announced his decision to resign Thursday on the Senate floor.

Continue reading "Sex Harassment Rocks Congress; Gov’t Shutdown Averted For Now; Gun Safety Fight to Continue" »

December 6, 2017

DC NEWS JUNKIE |  Concealed Carry Bill Approved by House over Connecticut Objections

by Peter Urban | Dec 6, 2017 5:59pm
Posted to: Business | Civil Liberties | Congress | DC News Junkie | Law Enforcement | Public Health | Public Safety

Peter Urban / DC News Junkie
Nearly five years after 20 children and six educators were killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, the House approved legislation that opponents say would undermine Connecticut’s gun safety laws.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which was approved 231 to 198 largely along party lines, would allow gun owners with a concealed carry permit to travel across state lines with their weapons even if a state has stricter permit requirements. Current law allows states to determine which non-state concealed carry permits it will honor.

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Lembo Seeks To Block Use of ‘Expensive Specialty Drugs’

by Christine Stuart | Dec 6, 2017 5:30am
Posted to: Corporate Watch | Health Care | Insurance | Jobs | Public Health | Public Safety

shutterstock HARTFORD, CT — As the administrator of the state employees health insurance plan, State Comptroller Kevin Lembo is taking steps to try and block the use of “outrageously expensive specialty drugs.”

Lembo said a review of pharmacy practices confirmed that the vast majority of prescriptions dispensed by two Connecticut pharmacies through the state health plan are for drugs manufactured by just one single drug manufacturer, Horizon Pharma.

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December 1, 2017

DC NEWS JUNKIE | Tax Relief for Crumbling Foundations May Be Fleeting

by Peter Urban | Dec 1, 2017 2:30pm
Posted to: Child Welfare | Congress | DC News Junkie | Federal Budget | Town News | Public Health | Poverty | State Budget | Taxes | White House

c-span
A tax write-off for Connecticut homeowners with crumbling foundations that was recently approved by the Internal Revenue Service may be in jeopardy under legislation now being debated by the U.S. Senate.

A Senate Republican proposal to overhaul federal tax policy would eliminate the tax deduction for property casualty losses except those stemming from federal declared disasters.

Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy have raised concerns about eliminating the deduction but as Democrats who oppose the overall bill, they have little chance to amend it. The bill remains under debate and Republican leaders are focused on making changes to insure that the Senate Republican majority can approve it without the need for any Democrat support.

Continue reading "DC NEWS JUNKIE | Tax Relief for Crumbling Foundations May Be Fleeting" »

November 24, 2017

OP-ED | Football Is Brutal. So Why Coach It?

by Barth Keck | Nov 24, 2017 5:30am
Posted to: Analysis | Child Welfare | Education | Opinion | Public Health | Sports

Mike Flippo via shutterstock
Why coach football?

It’s a question I’ve asked myself more frequently this high school season — my 13th as an assistant coach — due to recent research outlining the dangers of the sport.

Football, in plain terms, is a brutal game that can cause serious injuries. A recent study at Boston University, for example, found that the potential for head impacts on kids under 12 who play tackle football “may double their risk of developing behavioral problems and triple their chances of suffering depression later in life.”

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