Disability Issues

Americans with Disabilities Say Kerry's the Better Man by a Wide Margin
Disability Issues

National Organization on Disability: "Asked which presidential candidate they believe is addressing the needs of people with disabilities as part of their campaign, 39% of all respondents gave John Kerry credit, compared to 22% George W. Bush. Kerry was seen as addressing disability issues by 40% of respondents, compared to 23% fir Bush. Those without disabilities cited Kerry 38% of the time and Bush 22%. When it came to specific issues," Bush had a significant edge only on homeland security (55-33% - but only because of his phony alerts and intentional creation of an atmosphere of fear. "The advantage was Kerry's on education (46-42%t), Medicare drug benefits (49-36%), employment (51-36%), health care (49-36%), civil rights (47-33%), transportation (39-33%), and housing (46-32 %). People with and without disabilities responded similarly to these questions."

25 Disabled Activists Arrested in Texas Governor's Office
Disability Issues

"25 activists for the disabled, most of them in wheelchairs, were arrested during a demonstration against Texas Gov. Rick Perry's proposed cuts in services to the disabled... All were charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing, which carries fines of up to $2,000 and 180 days in jail. Those who were arrested said it was worth it to promote their cause. 'It beats dying in a nursing home,' said Danny Saenz, who is stricken with cerebral palsy. The protesters said they wanted Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Tom Craddick, all Republicans, to sign a general pledge to protect services for the disabled, including in-home attendant care and medication... Perry did not meet with the group that was gathered just outside his private office... Proposed House budget cuts would eliminate attendant services for about 56,000 people in Texas, reducing programs to assist the frail elderly and primary home care. Financial aid for prescription medication also would be reduced."

Bush Has No Compassion for the Disabled
Disability Issues

DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe called Bush's recently issued "homebound" Medicare policy changes misguided, inadequate and simply rhetorical... Currently the home health homebound rule in Medicare is being used to incarcerate thousands of people with permanent disabilities and serious health conditions in their home each day in order to receive the home health care they need to sustain their lives... [But] the new program instruction to home health agencies and Medicare carriers is even more restrictive than the already overly restrictive homebound definition. Tell Bush and Congress to deliver 'Real Freedoms' to people with disabilities, not Bush's version of 'New Freedoms.'"

Compassionate Conservatism? Welfare for the Wealthy with Cuts for the Neediest
Disability Issues

As the Senate moves to consider reauthorizing the federal welfare program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, the special barriers faced by people with physical and mental impairments merit legislative recognition. The Senate bill provides for improved client screening for health-related employment barriers and provides some work program exemptions for those caring for a child with a disability (an estimated 21-36% of welfare families). Not surprisingly, the House version contains numerous draconian measures as well as a provision for "super-waivers" which allow states to ignore congressional funding decisions or standards. Programs at risk include the Child Care and Development Block Grant, TANF, the Social Services Block Grant, food stamp program, public housing and homeless assistance. With nearly 1 in 4 persons imprisoned for a drug offense, the lifetime prohibition on TANF and food stamps for felony use or sale of drugs promotes a cycle of despair.

Terry McAuliffe Champions Life-Saving Measures for People with Disabilities
Disability Issues

DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe called on Congress to enact "Real Freedom" initiatives that improve the independence, economic self-sufficiency and societal participation of Americans with Disabilities. "President [sic] Bush's so-called New Freedom Initiative falls far short of the 'Real Freedom' needed by Americans with disabilities," McAuliffe said... "Real Freedom means real choice in which people with disabilities receive long-term services and supports. We need federal legislation, like MiCASSA, (Medicaid Community Attendant Services Act) to be enacted that offers Real Freedom for people with and without disabilities the choice of receiving long-term care services and support in their own homes in the community." You go, Terry!