U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Tuesday joined Christine Cohen, State Senate candidate for the 12th District, and Robin Comey, State Representative candidate for the 102nd District, for a well-attended roundtable discussion at Democratic Headquarters.
Murphy was the second Connecticut senator to visit Democratic Headquarters. Richard Blumenthal met with the group two weeks ago.
They discussed a variety of health care issues, including protecting people with pre-existing conditions, lowering the cost of health insurance and prescription drugs, and expanding access to mental health care and addiction services. Murphy then took questions from the audience on concerns such as voting rights and the environment.
“A lot is at stake this election. When I travel across Connecticut, health care is one of the top issues I hear about,” said Murphy. “I’m proud to join with Christine and Robin to advocate for solutions for families who want access to affordable health care that protects people with pre-existing conditions and covers services, like mental health care and addiction.”
“As a small business owner in Connecticut, I understand the challenges with the high cost of our health care system. I would love to see a public option here in Connecticut, while we’re working out issues on a federal level, because we can effect change in the state by providing an affordable option for residents,” said Christine Cohen, State Senate candidate for the 12th District.
“Parents of kids with chronic illness shouldn’t have to choose between buying their medication and putting food on the table,” said Robin Comey, State Representative candidate for the 102nd District. She added that she was committed to working in Hartford to help our families address the most serious public health issues that they face on a daily basis.”
When questioned about the protection of voting rights on Connecticut, Murphy described voter suppression taking place in Georgia and other states as “obscene.” He acknowledged that Connecticut should be doing more “to make use a leader,” including enacting early voting.
He said that the Voting Rights Act, enacted in 1965 and prohibits racial discrimination in voting, was a bipartisan effort. Key parts of the act were struck down by the Supreme Court (in 2013) and Republicans have blocked it since then. “The Supreme Court blew a hole in it and made it partisan,” said Murphy.
Cohen said she approved of early voting, noting that it was a matter of greater accessibility. Comey added that greater transparency was needed in terms of redistricting.
In response to a question about the small window recently announced to protect the environment, Murphy tied it to the importance of voting. “Voting and breathing…we could lose both,” he said. He said he is determined to protect both, nothing that environmental concerns give us the opportunity to reinvent the economy. “Jobs in renewable energy require a high level of training.” Murphy said we have a “moral imperative” to protect the environment from current and future threats.
“We’re lucky we have the ability to save our country,” Murphy said. “Kids are already feeling the effects.”
Commending Cohen and Comey, Murphy said, “They didn’t have to do this, but they stepped up to the moment.” He added that people who would have never run for office will be in it for the long term.