Rumors have been circulating about the cuts to the Personal Care Attendant (PCA) program budget. I contacted the Department of Human Services and was told, “there will not be dramatic cuts in the PCA program.” Be prepared to justify the hours you need, as there will be a tightening of the guidelines to stop the abuses in the system. In any event, I did have an opportunity in April to tell the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Human Services that Personal Care Attendant service is a vital concern to those of us who need it and a cut in this area is no more logical than removing fire protection in the community.
The Legislative session is coming to an end. Many things are yet to be decided and now is your last chance to let them know what you want. The Health Care Bill is still being debated, it appears as if its coming down to a bill that will provide the real access we need or a bill which is offered by the insurance companies and backed by the Governor. The Governor, when campaigning, said he was in favor of affordable health care for all Minnesotans, but now has decided to change his position due to the so-called budget shortfall. Is our Governor going to be too short-sighted to back a health care bill which the Health Care Access Commission stated will save the State of Minnesota money in the long run? The Governor needs to hear from you.
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A group of people met in April to see if there is enough interest to re-form a local chapter National Spinal Cord Injury Association. They will be meeting again, May 15th at 7:00 P.M. at Courage Center. If you’re interested in joining or would like to find out more about the NSCIA give John Schatzlein a call at 863-4148. Personally, I think it’s a worthwhile effort — I’ll join.
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John Schatzlein, not incidentally, is profiled on page 5 of this issue. He’s amazing — his resume is six pages long!
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I heard from a reader who said “we really like the paper, but it seems a little too political. Can ACCESS PRESS start something like a Dear Abby type column.” We sure can! First, I need to find our own “Abby”. If you think you can do the job, I would like to hear from you. If you have any questions for ACCESS PRESS’s “Abby” send them in and get your advice in the new column which could start in the June issue. I am always looking for ways to improve the paper, so any suggestions or criticisms are welcome. Actually, our “Abby” would have a lot of volunteer experts to help with the tough questions and might end up being “Abby-Fixit”.