Editor's Column - May 2004

There has been lots of talk at the Capitol this legislative session–and little action.  We have heard lots of discussion about gambling, stadiums, light rail, and the positive and negative financial and social impacts of these on our communities. Personally, I think any action that would bring in jobs that offered good salary and benefits to the lower middle class and people with disabilities would be a good first step.  We are the population that really needs the income and would spend the money to catch up or get ahead, which in turn would stimulate the state tax revenues. Most likely the entire legislature wants this too, but for their own community or party. Self-interest has stalled action for the common good.

Part two of Jeff Nygaard’s article on Universal Health Care is an interesting look at how a plan might be financed. Under the plan Jeff lays out we would spend (as a country) less on health care. Jeff mentions a cost reduction in other programs. With no hard facts to back my opinion, I think that under a good Health Care plan (one where people didn’t have to worry that the cost of seeing a medical professional would take money out of their grocery budget, individuals would be more proactive about preventive medicine which may decrease the cost of other programs. Back to Jeff: thanks for the very interesting and thought provoking article. Remember, readers, to send your questions and thoughts on this issue. We look forward to part three.

I have heard Presidential candidate John Kerry is suggesting that if he is elected children would have medical insurance coverage. We need to ask him which children would be covered. Will it cover all kids in families that are below poverty level? Would it be those who are just on the edge of pulling above the poverty level? And will he continue to cover those children until the family has successfully moved beyond the risk of falling back into poverty?

We know what our current President thinks about leaving children without educational opportunities –he tells the country that he supports the “No Child Left Behind Act” but his budget plan seriously undercuts that same program. Machiavelli would be proud.

Ana Alvarez-Holmberg, on page six, also submits a part two article, taking a look at “Choosing” and “Opinions” in her INCOME career development article . We appreciate your hard work. Thanks, Ana.  See you next month for “Maintaining” and “Exiting”!

May being mental health awareness month, Chuck Campbell wrote an article on the warnings of antidepressant drugs. Many of the older generation antidepressants have very successful results. We shouldn’t count them out because they’re not the newest thing. Chuck explains it well in his article. Don’t pass up this piece it is very informative especially for those of us that haven’t had much experience or background knowledge of these medications. Excellent job Chuck!

Many of you may know Michael Cohn from around the community; he has agreed to start writing for Access Press. He started with the very difficult project of describing disability culture. Michael gives us a little different spin. It might sound like the same old story, another “describing disability culture” article in Access Press but Michael gets you questioning all of the other articles before this one as well as your own understanding of disability culture. It is great to have you on board, Michael!

A special thanks to Kathy Hagen and the rest of the staff at the Minnesota Disability Law Center.  Their efforts for getting people with disabilities out to vote is just another example of their constant and continuing support of the major issues that the disability community faces daily.  Great work, we all appreciate you being there to watch out for our rights!