Monday, September 22, 2008

Baltimore Sun: "Friendship Isn't Enough"

In an op-ed titled "Friendship Isn't Enough," the Baltimore Sun's editors say, "What do families of children with disabilities need from the next president? Not just a 'friend' in the White House but a willingness to pay for services they need."

The op-ed points out that the proposed Community Choice Act would require all states and the federal government to make such services for disabled American more widely available. While Sen. McCain doesn't support the bill, Sen. Obama is a co-sponsor. It continues:

"There are any number of other government programs that are desperately in need of help from a friend in the White House. Special education is supposed to receive 40 percent federal financing and now gets closer to 17 percent. Personal care service providers, who are vital to keeping disabled people living independently, are chronically underpaid and, because of that, difficult to find and retain. The candidates' views on these matters are reflected on their websites. Mr. Obama's includes a nine-page treatise on his plans to help the disabled, including full funding for special education. Mr. McCain's 14 core campaign issues include the Second Amendment and the space program but not the disabled....

"Mr. McCain still has time to come around on these issues and offer specific remedies in the weeks ahead. Having a poster mom for families caring for a disabled child on the ticket is not enough -- particularly for aging seniors who can no longer care for middle-aged children. Friendship is nice, but families need a government willing to invest more in the future of children who require a little help if they are to live full and productive lives."
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