Electric EDGE
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The Ragged Edge
March/April 1998

Electric Edge

??? WHAT ???

Building bridges (and road and stadiums) with Medicaid

"SEC. 2. BAN ON SPENDING FOR NONHEALTH RELATED ITEMS. Section 1903(i) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396b(i)) is amended . . . with respect to any amount expended for roads, bridges, stadiums, or any other item or service not covered under a State plan under this title.''. Early January version of U.S. Senate bill 945, the bill relating to stopping fraud in Medicaid.

Animal fears

"I am a head tied to a dead body. A rational being, mortally injured, should not have to wait for the end like an animal." Ramon Sanpedro, paralyzed in an accident nearly 30 years ago who in 1994 sought the approval of the Spanish court to have a doctor kill him with drugs. He was denied the request on grounds he did not suffer from a terminal illness and could lead a life of dignity. Sanpedro died this past January. An autopsy turned up traces of cyanide.

What about gay quadriplegics?

"Love is enough. That is the message of the gay activists and others who seek to topple the existing standards on adoption. But it isn't. If love were enough, we'd give babies to 14-year-olds, and quadriplegics, and the insane". Right-wing harpy Mona Charen, in her December 22 syndicated column .

(no comment)

Bill Masher (Host): All right. Well, it is Christmastime, and there was an article yesterday in "USA Today" about "The Nutcracker" in Washington. I don't mean Hillary Clifton. [Laughter]. The headline says, "Boy, 9, takes seat in ballet." Now this young man has cerebral palsy. And it says, "Cerebral palsy doesn't prevent dancing in 'Nutcracker.'" He is in a wheelchair. But in fact it does prevent dancing. I mean, he can't dance. He's in a wheelchair. And I wish him only good things, but I think this article, which celebrates the fact that he is wheeled on stage in this, and you know, you could you say, "Who does this hurt?" Well, I think it hurts him.

Ann Coulter (MSNBC): There are some things he might be able to do reasonably well, but this, it is completely absurd. A wheelchair for a dancer?

Bill: There are 200 other kids who wanted this part who didn't get it.

Scott: Cerebral palsy kids?

Bill: No.

Ann: Well, that's true. I really am worried about this kid.

Bill: No. Other kids. And you know, the parents said this will help this kid's esteem. I don't think it helps the kid's esteem to teach him that, "Use your disability to cut in line."

Ann: Right.

Bill: That's not what we should teach kids in wheelchairs.

Ann: I think that's right. And if it were just an accommodation to help him do something else he might be able to do, but this really, I mean, it's like an embarrassing - everybody's embarrassed about it. They want to hide him, pretend it's not there. But there are things you can do. If it weren't that this were a ballet -

Adam Werbach (Sierra Club): Who are we to be the people to tell that kid that he can't do what he really wants to do?

Bill: We're the adults, man.

Adam: Yes, but people buy tickets. They're buying tickets to the show. That's what the ballet is trying to do.

Clint Black (Singer) : The irony is that he may be making a bigger success of the show because of this, so -

Bill: But that makes it a freak show.

Transcript of Dec. 18 edition of ABC's Politically Incorrect" (taken from ABC website (abc.com/pi/word/971218)


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