Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

June 30, 2013

In Your View

(Continued)

ASHLAND — McConnell helps get funding for program

CDC and NIH statistics show that between 2001 and 2009, there was a 23 percent increase in type 1 diabetes (T1D) among American youth.

I hate to think of my daughter as a statistic, but she is one of those 23 percent diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during that time frame. This disease requires constant attention to fluctuating blood sugar levels that can cause dangerous complications including blindness, kidney disease and even amputations. I cannot remember a time when I haven’t worried about what might happen when I am not there in case her blood sugar levels go too high or too low.

Thanks to diabetes research, particularly the Special Diabetes Program (SDP), there is greater hope for my daughter and others with T1D.  Senator McConnell led the way in supporting the renewal of the SDP, a key research program that is helping us to better understand what triggers the disease, developing new technologies to manage it, and getting us closer to a cure.

By providing these new insights and tools, I am hopeful that there is a better life awaiting my daughter, after all, 85 percent of people now living with T1D are adults.  Also, American taxpayer dollars could be saved by reducing complications that greatly add to health care costs, including Medicare.

I am grateful for the SDP that is giving my daughter and others with T1D a better life ahead, and helping parents like me worry a little less about their future.

Paula Fairchild, Advocacy Team Chair, JDRF-Kentuckiana Chapter

High court takes step backwards

On Tuesday, U.S. Supreme Court took a distressing step backward. It overturned a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, the landmark civil rights law that helped protect democracy as recently as the 2012 election.

Under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, states and localities with a history of discrimination must seek pre-approval of changes in voting rules that could affect minorities. In Shelby County v. Holder, the Court invalidated the formula that governs which jurisdictions must have voting changes precleared.

To be clear this key section of the Voting Rights Act is now meaningless until Congress acts. We believe lawmakers have a duty to act.

This decision will likely have immediate consequences. We may see a reprise of many harsh laws our community defeated last year. The Texas attorney general already has announced that a voter ID law blocked by Section 5 last year will go into effect. 

We will work with a broad range of allies to respond — in Congress, the courts, and the court of public opinion. In the meantime, thank you for all you have done to support voting rights and the work of the Center. We look forward to continuing the fight for democracy together at this critical time.

Michael Waldman, President, Brennan Center for  Justice                                                                                  

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