Obama has edge with disabled voters

Aug. 17, 2008 at 4:29 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama may have an edge over Republican John McCain among disabled voters, observers say.

Politico reported Sunday that while both candidates support the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and legislation pending in Congress that would strengthen the law, they differ on the Community Choice Act.

The proposal, co-sponsored by Obama, would increase government funds to pay for institutional care and home-based health services.

In a conference call last month organized by the Democratic National Committee, Marca Bristo, former chairwoman of the National Council on Disability, castigated McCain for his opposition.

"He has refused to listen to us on a critical issue to our community: the right to live at home in the community," she said. "The Community Choice Act would allow that. Obama will give us choice and help us liberate the

people in nursing homes."

McCain has said he is concerned about the proposal's potential costs.

Jim Dickson, vice president of government affairs for the American Association of People with Disabilities, said voter blocs have historically backed candidates who seek to address the issues most important to them.

For disabled Americans their vote "goes to the candidate who talks most about disability," Dickson said.

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