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Don't Balance the Budget at the Expense of People With Disabilities ... Again
Date:2/29/2008

MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the State of Minnesota facing a $935 million budget deficit, many disability advocates and service providers want to ensure that the health and independence of the state's most vulnerable citizens not be compromised.

"On the one hand, legislators are discussing meaningful health reform to better coordinate care for those with chronic conditions, and on the other, we expect the governor will be limiting access to needed services for people with disabilities," said John Tschida, vice president of Public Affairs and Research at Courage Center. "People with disabilities and their families were hit hard by the last significant deficit in 2003. That can't happen again."

Hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts were made to disability services between 2002-2007, reducing options for people with disabilities to access health care services in their own home and limiting transportation options. Co-payments for prescription drugs and other outpatient medical services were also instituted.

"More people with disabilities are working and active community members than ever before, but they still may require some level of governmental services to be successful," Tschida said. "We'll be working hard to ensure they maintain their level of social and financial independence, and that the state upholds its historical commitment to people with disabilities."

About Courage Center:

Since 1928, Minneapolis based Courage Center, a nonprofit rehabilitation and resource center, has had a legacy of improving independence and quality of life for people with disabilities. Our full continuum of care includes rehabilitation therapies, transitional rehabilitation, pain management, vocational and community-based services, and camping and sports and recreation programs for people of all ages and abilities. For more information about Courage Center, visit courage.org.


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SOURCE Courage Center
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