Between the election and the inauguration, The Connecticut Mirror conducted a second round of community conversations. We met with college students in Hartford, people living with a behavioral health challenge in New Haven, people with young children in Bridgeport, and ALICE residents (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) in Waterbury.
In this installment we asked the Waterbury group their reaction to Gov. Ned Lamont’s belief that health care is a right. We followed up by asking what health care policies they think are most important for Lamont and the new legislature to focus on and why.
[A right?] Yes. At some point in our lives we all will need healthcare. Healthcare is a basic need and cultures historically have always taken care of their people.
[Priorities:] Expanding Medicaid so eventually we have a single-payer system option. Everyone should have basic healthcare, and/or the option to pay into additional private insurance. Assume everyone has a pre-existing condition and protect all people.
[A right?] Yes. We live in an industrialized society with the means to provide healthcare to all people without any real issues. The choice to not do so has only benefited the insurance industry and the wealthy.
[Priorities:] Medicare for all, including preventative care. Dismantle the insurance companies, by law. No one should go without care.
[A right?] Yes, healthcare is a basic right. No one should be without it, it is a necessity, and no one should be left out due to income, race, ethnicity, health, state of mind. No one should be penalized.
[Priorities:] The most important is establishing healthcare that is a right and provided and fair and does not go by someone’s gross income. Another is insurance rates we can afford. Having government closely monitor the privatized insurance.
[A right?] Yes. It is a basic foundational point for survival.
[Priorities:] Medicare for all. It is affordable and cutting costs for business and individuals.
Jacqueline McGrath Curtis:
[A right?] Yes, each and every individual should be and have a right to be healthy and illness free.
[Priorities:] Covering pre-existing conditions because they are costly for an individual. Low-income adults with no insurance coverage is catastrophic for employees and the economy, with a loss of productivity. The high costs of prescriptions is detrimental to elderly on a fixed income.
[A right?] Yes, everyone needs to be protected, but it has to be affordable coverage.
[Priorities:] Drug prices are crazy high especially if you have no drug coverage. Limit allowing drug company advertising to the public (versus doctors directly).
[A right?] Yes, no human being should be denied medical help because they can’t afford it. Human life is more valuable than money. Who pays for it? I’m willing to pay more taxes to make it happen possibly if it’s going to truly benefit everyone.
[Priorities:] Hold doctors accountable who provided irresponsible numbers of prescriptions. Forced intervention for opioid drug addicts.
[A right?] Yes, we all live in America and it should be for everyone to have healthcare.
[Priorities:] Make affordable, if not free, healthcare a basic right.
[A right?] It should be, but it’s not. Every man woman and child should have health coverage.
[Priorities:] Prescription drugs are very expensive and most low-income people cannot afford them so they go without. And opioid addiction is out of control.
[A right?] Yes, at an affordable cost.
[Priorities:] Protection for pre-existing conditions. This is not something you can eliminate or choose to have. The cost of prescription drugs is maybe $100 at one place and $50 at another. Drugs should be the same price everywhere. If you need it, it’s not a choice, it’s your health requirement.
[A right?] Yes, especially for those that don’t have health insurance like working families.
[Priorities:] Bring down the cost of expensive prescriptions. Protect insurance coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.