Connecticut Children’s Medical Center’s main campus is located at 282 Washington Street in Hartford, Connecticut.

Meet the Candidates Who Are Running in the 2018 Election

We asked the candidates to answer a few questions about their perspectives on children’s health and how they would address key issues if they were to be elected.

Candidates were asked to provide an overview about themselves in 50 words or less, and to answer three questions in 75 words or less. All responses have been unedited, but some have been truncated due to length. Responses that extend beyond 75 words are marked with “…”

Jump to a candidate to view their answers:

John Larson (D)

john larson headshotCandidate – 1st Congressional District 

Please share a brief overview about yourself in 50 words or less. 

East Hartford born and raised. Product of public housing, public schools, and public service. Former high school teacher, small business owner, Board of Education, Town Council, State Senate, and am now proud to represent the 1st Congressional District. Leslie and I have three beautiful children.

The average time between the onset of behavioral health illness symptoms and the start of treatment is 7 years for Connecticut’s kids. How would you improve child and adolescent access to behavioral and mental health services?

I have fought for and will continue to fight for programs like CHIP, Medicaid, and to develop a stronger pediatric workforce in Connecticut. Congress must work with local providers to educate parents, teachers, and communities on recognizing children in need before they are in crisis. That is why I previously introduced the City Youth Violence Recovery Act to help vulnerable youth who have been impacted by violence get additional counseling and support.

Across the country, most academic medical centers receive Graduate Medical Education payments from Medicare to support their programs that train tomorrow’s physicians. Since independent children’s hospitals do not receive any funding from Medicare, Congress created the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) Payment Program. CHGME supports the nation’s 58 children’s hospitals, which together train approximately half of the nation’s pediatricians. In Connecticut, one out of every six pediatricians were trained at Connecticut Children’s. What changes, if any, should Congress make to the CHGME program?

Congress must make long-term investments, rather than short-term fixes. That is why I was proud to cosponsor the CHGME Support Reauthorization Act (H.R. 5385) and its passage in the House. I am pleased it passed the Senate and will be signed into law. I have fought previous attempts to cut CHGME and will continue to push for enhanced funding, especially for pediatric subspecialties.

The Justice Department has recently declared portions of the ACA unconstitutional, including those provisions that would protect individuals with pre-existing conditions. What changes, if any, should Congress make to the ACA?

Congress must fight back against junk insurance plans and attacks on those with pre-existing conditions. We must improve accessibility and affordability, especially for families. I am proud to have introduced the Medicare Buy-In (H.R. 3748) to allow Americans, ages 50-64, to buy into Medicare and lower prescription drug costs. The remaining ACA consumers would be younger and healthier, making insurance more affordable to young people and families buying their own insurance.

Jennifer Nye (R)

Candidate – 1st Congressional District

Did not respond to the candidate questionnaire

Joe Courtney (D)

joe courtney headshotCandidate – 2nd Congressional District

Please share an overview about yourself in 50 words or less. 

I have represented the 2nd Congressional District of Connecticut since 2007. Previously, I represented Vernon in the State House and served as town attorney and a public defender. I graduated from Tufts University and UConn Law.

The average time between the onset of behavioral health illness symptoms and the start of treatment is 7 years for Connecticut’s kids. How would you improve child and adolescent access to behavioral and mental health services?

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, there are zero states with a sufficient child psychiatrist workforce. My legislation, the Ensuring Children’s Access to Speciality Care Act, would add pediatric subspecialists, including child psychiatrists, to the National Health Service Corps student loan repayment program. The National Health Service Corps incentivizes young providers to work in health professional shortage areas and helps overcome the financial hardship associated with longer training for pediatric specialties.

Across the country, most academic medical centers receive Graduate Medical Education payments from Medicare to support their programs that train tomorrow’s physicians. Since independent children’s hospitals do not receive any funding from Medicare, Congress created the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) Payment Program. CHGME supports the nation’s 58 children’s hospitals, which together train approximately half of the nation’s pediatricians. In Connecticut, one out of every six pediatricians were trained at Connecticut Children’s. What changes, if any, should Congress make to the CHGME program?

This year, I helped to pass the Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act to increase funding authorization for the CHGME program to $330 million per year. I supported this legislation to ensure the future of the CHGME program and advocated for full funding for the program in 2019. I will continue to support policies that reduce workforce shortages in pediatrics, including improving the CHGME program.

The Justice Department has recently declared portions of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, including those provisions that would protect individuals with pre-existing conditions. What changes, if any, should Congress make to the Affordable Care Act?

I support changes to build on the Affordable Care Act’s goals of expanding access to affordable, high-quality care and protecting those with pre-existing conditions. This includes expanding Medicare to allow individuals to “buy-in” at 55, and a public option for health insurance. In addition, I support policies to reverse recent destabilizing changes to the ACA, including improving the Cost Sharing Reduction program, creation of a federal reinsurance program, and reinstituting the individual mandate.

Dan Postemski (R)

Candidate – 2nd Congressional District 

Did not respond to the candidate questionnaire

Rosa DeLauro (D)

rosa delauro headshotCandidate – 3rd Congressional District

Please share an overview about yourself in 50 words or less. 

Rosa DeLauro is hardworking and passionate in her work for Connecticut, never letting up to get the job done. Rosa has built a reputation as a forthright advocate for her constituents, an honest broker who works with members of all parties, and a respected leader in Congress.

The average time between the onset of behavioral health illness symptoms and the start of treatment is 7 years for Connecticut’s kids. How would you improve child and adolescent access to behavioral and mental health services?

We need to increase the number of behavioral and mental health providers, and an immediate first step would be to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates. The Mental Health Reform Act included a number of new programs that would help address the workforce issue and develop and enhance pediatric and adolescent mental health intervention and treatment.

Across the country, most academic medical centers receive Graduate Medical Education payments from Medicare to support their programs that train tomorrow’s physicians. Since independent children’s hospitals do not receive any funding from Medicare, Congress created the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) Payment Program. CHGME supports the nation’s 58 children’s hospitals, which together train approximately half of the nation’s pediatricians.  In Connecticut, one out of every six pediatricians were trained at Connecticut Children’s.  What changes, if any, should Congress make to the CHGME program?

I was proud to support the Dr. Benjy Frances Brooks Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act, which reauthorizes the CHGME program through 2023 at $325 million a year, a $10 million increase over last year’s funding allocation. It is critical that we continue to support CHGME and further invest programs that train our doctors of tomorrow.

The Justice Department has recently declared portions of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, including those provisions that would protect individuals with pre-existing conditions. What changes, if any, should Congress make to the Affordable Care Act?

The Republicans need to stop trying to repeal the ACA, which ensures the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will have health insurance and will not be charged more because of their pre-existing condition. I strongly oppose the administration’s decision to not defend the ACA in the latest case attacking the law’s constitutionality, and furthermore, it is unconscionable that the administration has urged the court to repeal the ACA’s pre-existing condition protections.

Angel Cadena (R)

Candidate – 3rd Congressional District 

Did not respond to the candidate questionnaire

Jim Himes (D)

jim himes headshotCandidate – 4th Congressional District

Please provide an overview about yourself in 50 words or less. 

I represent Connecticut’s 4th District in Congress. I was born in Peru, moved to the U.S., completed undergraduate studies at Harvard University and earned a master’s degree at Oxford University. My wife, Mary Himes, and I are proud parents of Emma and Linley Himes. Hobbies include reading, biking and beekeeping.

The average time between the onset of behavioral health illness symptoms and the start of treatment is 7 years for Connecticut’s kids. How would you improve child and adolescent access to behavioral and mental health services?

We’ve listened to experts, identified the right paths, and now must fully fund tools necessary to get us there. We know we need earlier diagnosis and treatment. We know we can bring the help to kids and families who need it if we make them a priority. It is the final step, showing children’s health is a priority, and not just an afterthought, needing execution. That means robust funding on the state and federal level.

Across the country, most academic medical centers receive Graduate Medical Education payments from Medicare to support their programs that train tomorrow’s physicians. Since independent children’s hospitals do not receive any funding from Medicare, Congress created the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) Payment Program. CHGME supports the nation’s 58 children’s hospitals, which together train approximately half of the nation’s pediatricians.  In Connecticut, one out of every six pediatricians were trained at Connecticut Children’s.  What changes, if any, should Congress make to the CHGME program?

I’ve met with CT Children’s many times over my service in Congress and I was very happy to support passage of H.R. 5385, reauthorizing the critical CHGME program at $325 million per year through 2023 – an annual increase of $25 million per year through 2018. I am pleased that my House and Senate colleagues came together in a bipartisan, unanimous fashion to give this vital program the certainty and security it merits.

The Justice Department has recently declared portions of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, including those provisions that would protect individuals with pre-existing conditions. What changes, if any, should Congress make to the Affordable Care Act?

The Affordable Care Act is not perfect, but it represents real progress for millions of Americans and thousands of Connecticut residents, especially for its coverage of preexisting conditions. We need to stabilize the health care markets to better control rapid premium and pharmaceutical price increases. We also need to develop long-term solutions and discuss the feasibility and cost of all our options moving forward while protecting the important part of the ACA covering preexisting conditions.

Harry Arora (R)

harry arora headshotCandidate – 4th Congressional District

Please provide an overview about yourself in 50 words or less. 

HARRY ARORA is a self-made entrepreneur, a political outsider and an immigrant American. After a successful 20-year investment management career, Harry has decided to serve the public good. Harry has an MPA from Harvard University, an MBA from the University of Texas, Austin, and an electrical engineering degree from India.

The average time between the onset of behavioral health illness symptoms and the start of treatment is 7 years for Connecticut’s kids. How would you improve child and adolescent access to behavioral and mental health services?

As a father, I recognize the importance of providing first-rate care to our state’s children. As a Congressman, I would ensure that behavioral and mental health care more accessible and affordable to all children. Children with these, or similar symptoms, require no less than outstanding medical, therapeutic and educational services, all ways where the country has failed them. All children, no matter their conditions, are our nation’s future and deserve to be treated as such.

Across the country, most academic medical centers receive Graduate Medical Education payments from Medicare to support their programs that train tomorrow’s physicians. Since independent children’s hospitals do not receive any funding from Medicare, Congress created the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) Payment Program. CHGME supports the nation’s 58 children’s hospitals, which together train approximately half of the nation’s pediatricians.  In Connecticut, one out of every six pediatricians were trained at Connecticut Children’s.  What changes, if any, should Congress make to the CHGME program?

Congress should continue their support of HR 5385: Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2018. The program provides crucial funding to support training of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. As a member of Congress, I would continue to advocate for this legislation that allows children’s hospitals to sustain vital training programs and children better access to their doctors.

The Justice Department has recently declared portions of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, including those provisions that would protect individuals with pre-existing conditions. What changes, if any, should Congress make to the Affordable Care Act?

  • Allow for lower cost insurance options while assuring pre-existing conditions are covered and protected.
  • Offer a variety of plans with different coverage levels at various price points with clear and concise disclosures.
  • Propose reduction in Part B Medicare premiums for seniors using Advantage plans without additional cost to the government
  • Improve price transparency of all healthcare services (physicians, hospitals and drugs)
  • Ensure seamless portability of medical records
  • Stand AGAINST government take-over of our healthcare system

Jahana Hayes (D)

jahana hayes headshotCandidate – 5th Congressional District

Please provide an overview about yourself in 50 words or less. 

Jahana Hayes is a mother, wife and educator. She grew up in Waterbury and was the first in her family to graduate from college. In 2016, Jahana was named National Teacher of the Year. If elected, Jahana will be the first African American women to represent Connecticut in Congress.

The average time between the onset of behavioral health illness symptoms and the start of treatment is 7 years for Connecticut’s kids. How would you improve child and adolescent access to behavioral and mental health services?

The gap between the need for care and actually getting it must be improved. I’ve seen the challenges that arise from not addressing behavioral and mental health issues firsthand in the classroom. We need a two pronged strategy to fix the system, one that makes sure programs and care are more readily available and to also make sure that adults in the community know how to identify a problem and where to access services.

Across the country, most academic medical centers receive Graduate Medical Education payments from Medicare to support their programs that train tomorrow’s physicians. Since independent children’s hospitals do not receive any funding from Medicare, Congress created the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) Payment Program. CHGME supports the nation’s 58 children’s hospitals, which together train approximately half of the nation’s pediatricians.  In Connecticut, one out of every six pediatricians were trained at Connecticut Children’s.  What changes, if any, should Congress make to the CHGME program?

When we talk about expanding access to quality, affordable healthcare, having doctors with the right training for children is a major component. We need to increase funding for programs that improve healthcare, not look for cuts. Republicans in Congress want to cut healthcare funding after passing legislation that gives massive tax breaks to the wealthly and corporations. It’s wrong and I’ll fight for additional money for programs that provide vital care to our young people.

The Justice Department has recently declared portions of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, including those provisions that would protect individuals with pre-existing conditions. What changes, if any, should Congress make to the Affordable Care Act?

We need to fortify the ACA and stop the partisan attacks that weaken our healthcare system. Excluding people from coverage because they have a pre-existing condition is unconscionable and wrong. No one should have to file for bankruptcy because they chose to get treatment for an illness. In Congress, I will fight for legislation that implements Medicare for All so that Americans finally have the safety net they deserve, like almost every other industrialized country.

Manny Santos (R)

manny santos headshotCandidate – 5th Congressional District

Please provide an overview about yourself in 50 words or less. 

Immigrated to America in 1974. Grew-up in Hartford, attended public schools. Enlisted in the Marines after high school and served in First Gulf War. Attended UCONN and graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Worked 15 years in manufacturing before being elected mayor of the City of Meriden.

The average time between the onset of behavioral health illness symptoms and the start of treatment is 7 years for Connecticut’s kids. How would you improve child and adolescent access to behavioral and mental health services?

Major contributor to increased issues is the decrease of stable two-parent households; nonetheless, what will help is increased effort in educating parents so they understand the importance of early intervention.

Across the country, most academic medical centers receive Graduate Medical Education payments from Medicare to support their programs that train tomorrow’s physicians. Since independent children’s hospitals do not receive any funding from Medicare, Congress created the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) Payment Program. CHGME supports the nation’s 58 children’s hospitals, which together train approximately half of the nation’s pediatricians.  In Connecticut, one out of every six pediatricians were trained at Connecticut Children’s.  What changes, if any, should Congress make to the CHGME program?

Not having a better understanding of the program, no changes will be advocated. However, its important to note the recent Omnibus Appropriation did contain an increase in funding of $15 million.

The Justice Department has recently declared portions of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, including those provisions that would protect individuals with pre-existing conditions. What changes, if any, should Congress make to the Affordable Care Act?

If ACA cannot be repealed, an overhaul is needed. Medicaid expansion funds should be block-granted to states and be based on assets (as well as income). Enrollment outside “open enrollment period” should be allowed for those without pre-existing conditions. This “healthier” population will help fund the “less healthier.” Eligibility for ACA subsidies should be based on IRS filing, not on projected (guessed) income.

Chris Murphy (D)

chris murphy headshotCandidate – United States Senate

Please provide an overview about yourself in 50 words or less. 

Chris Murphy has dedicated his career to serving the people of Connecticut. Elected to the Senate in 2012, Murphy previously served in the House of Representatives and the Connecticut state legislature. A graduate of Williams College and UConn, Murphy lives in Cheshire with his wife Cathy and their two sons.

The average time between the onset of behavioral health illness symptoms and the start of treatment is 7 years for Connecticut’s kids. How would you improve child and adolescent access to behavioral and mental health services?

Early detection and treatment for mental health issues is a top priority of mine. I authored the Mental Health Reform Act, which was signed into law in 2016. It is essential to allocate maximum funding for Pediatric Mental Health Care Access programs that provide free, timely services for pediatricians and providers who treat children and adolescents. I’ve also supported increased funding for Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education to train the next generation of pediatric providers.

Across the country, most academic medical centers receive Graduate Medical Education payments from Medicare to support their programs that train tomorrow’s physicians. Since independent children’s hospitals do not receive any funding from Medicare, Congress created the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) Payment Program. CHGME supports the nation’s 58 children’s hospitals, which together train approximately half of the nation’s pediatricians.  In Connecticut, one out of every six pediatricians were trained at Connecticut Children’s.  What changes, if any, should Congress make to the CHGME program?

Earlier this year, I helped introduce a bill to reauthorize the CHGME program because I believe it has been a game changer for training pediatricians. Before the CHGME program was created, the number of residents who trained in freestanding children’s hospitals declined by over 13%. The CHGME program reversed that trend, and today these hospitals train approximately half of all pediatricians. I will continue to be a steadfast supporter of this program in the Senate.

The Justice Department has recently declared portions of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, including those provisions that would protect individuals with pre-existing conditions. What changes, if any, should Congress make to the Affordable Care Act?

The Supreme Court upheld the ACA and the Senate voted down its repeal. The ACA is here to stay and protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions from going into bankruptcy is an essential element of the law and one of the most important to defend. In the Senate, I’ve offered legislation to allow any individual to buy into Medicare as a way to build on the ACA’s success of covering as many Americans as possible.

Matthew Corey (R)

Candidate – United States Senate

Did not respond to the candidate questionnaire

Ned Lamont (D)

Candidate – Governor

Did not respond to the candidate questionnaire

Bob Stefanowski (R)

Candidate – Governor

Did not respond to the candidate questionnaire

Oz Griebel (I)

Candidate – Governor

Oz Griebel headshotPlease provide an overview about yourself in 50 words or less. 

Oz Griebel led the MetroHartford Alliance, which advocates for state policies intended to create jobs by expanding the state’s economy, for 17 years. Griebel served on multiple boards. Griebel graduated with a BA in English from Dartmouth College. Griebel also earned a JD from Suffolk University.

The average time between the onset of behavioral health illness symptoms and the start of treatment is 7 years for Connecticut’s kids. How would you improve child and adolescent access to behavioral and mental health services?

Government, the business sector, and nonprofit sector must get out the mindset of working in silos – In our administration we would bring all sectors together to find ways to improve access to child and adolescent mental and behavioral health services. Lt. Governor Frank would work with healthcare partners to find solutions.

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center devotes over 50% of its inpatient care to children who rely on Medicaid/HUSKY. Children make up 44.8% of Connecticut’s Medicaid/HUSKY population. What changes, if any, would you make to Connecticut’s Medicaid/HUSKY program for kids?

On November 7th, our Administration would start to draft a budget – We should ensure that Connecticut’s medicaid/HUSKY population have ways to access increase care, while trying to keep costs down. Please refer to our plan, Connecticut: We Are All In This Together for more details.

According to a 2018 report from the Commonwealth Fund , Connecticut ranks 14th out of 50 states in health disparities between poor and affluent populations, a drop of five spots from 2016. What steps would you take to reduce discrepancies that result from social determinants of health which include the environmental, socioeconomic and physical conditions in which the population lives?

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