Patricia Hymanson, Democrathttp://pattyhymanson.org
Office Sought: Representative - District 4
Roosevelt High School, Yonkers, NY, graduated 1975;
Yale University, New Haven, CT, graduated 1979, BA;
New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY, graduated 1983, MD
My husband, Alan Hymanson, MD, cardiologist at York Hospital, and I have been married for 27 years. We have 3 young adult offspring: Alex, 24; Michael, 24; Anna, 20. They all graduated from schools in York. Alex attended Colby College; the other two attended colleges out-of-state.
Why are you running for office? I care about this district: I have been a mother, a wife, a doctor, a school board member and chairman, a community leader and citizen in this district, and I have lived here for 30 years. From these experiences and more, I have the right skills to understand complex issues like health care, education, the economy and the environment. I listen well and learn fast. I would be honored to represent the interests of the people in this district in Augusta.
Firearms Discharge Committee, York, 1998: Re-wrote the firearms discharge map for hunters and public safety. York School Committee member and Chairman, elected 2 terms, 2002- 2008: Oversaw a $25 million budget and was chief negotiator for the Town of York's teachers' contract, among many duties and issues. Wrote, submitted and testified for a medication safety bill in the Maine Legislature, 2010, while a doctor, not in the Legislature. Neurology on the Hill, 2000 to present, Washington, DC: Advocate to Congress, I meet with our Maine Senators and Representatives about neurology issues, including traumatic brain injury in returning Gulf War veterans.
The federal health care law has offered to pay states to expand their Medicaid programs to provide health coverage to low income Mainers. Do you support Medicaid (or MaineCare) expansion?Yes
Many people struggle to manage their health care. Often, they cannot afford the costs of prevention that would help them avoid major medical problems. When faced with major illness, they generally must resort to emergency department treatment, which becomes their only option, and it is socially expensive. Preventive health care, whether it is control of high blood pressure or diabetes or some other major health issue, can be prohibitively expensive without health insurance, and even more out of reach if wages are at poverty levels. Medicaid expansion is fair and injects federal dollars into our economy at a time when we, in Maine, are trying to figure out a new path for the economy and responsible health care.
Reform of the state’s public assistance programs has been the focus of debates in the State House and on the campaign trail. Do you believe that the state’s welfare programs are too generous?Other
What, if anything, would you change about welfare?Some people can not give up their benefits because they have no money or job and have no way to survive if their benefits are pulled away suddenly. I would support progressive weaning from benefits while expectations and reasonable, individualized time-tables for weaning are developed for each person depending on their circumstance. Re-training, social and family supports, health care, transportation supports and job creation need attention to help those who struggle as self-sufficient as they can. Fraud in any state program is unacceptable and I support reasonable watch-dog efforts to stop it. Purchases with government money should support health.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Yes
By how much?Mainers who work deserve a living wage. It is the right thing to do, and the money earned goes back into the economy, supporting other businesses and growing a healthy community. A living wage means the worker can afford food, transportation, family care and shelter, at the very least, with the salary paying for those needs, not the government or the community.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?No
Please explain your position on legalization?Not now. While I believe that the illegal market for recreational marijuana is dangerous and should be replaced by legalization, our towns and the state should learn from Colorado, Washington and other states that legalize it first. As with tobacco and alcohol, marijuana production and sales require strict rules and taxes high enough to bring revenue to Maine and pay the expenses associated with a substance that alters the mind.