Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

DISABILITY: Are disabled people a burden on society?

Letter by Colin Guthrie, Puyallup on June 20, 2011 at 10:21 am with 77 Comments »
June 20, 2011 10:21 am

Re: “The disabled unemployed deserve better” (letter, 6-20).

The letter writer wrote that disabled people are often targets of budget cuts to services they sometimes need. People assume that disabled people are able to work full time and get needed medical through work insurance programs. However, many disabled people are unable to work and often are denied insurance due to their disability.

Comments on the article and letter speak of these people leeching off taxpayers because they “don’t want to work.” A friend of mine is a legal assistant and told me the state of Connecticut only found six people on this program who were able to work when they investigated for fraud in the system.

It is becoming apparent that more and more people think that certain programs are not needed because they feel certain people are a burden on society and it is better for society that genocide be used to rid society of these people.

Tags:
Leave a comment Comments → 77
  1. Yes, many but not all disabled are a burden of society. That seems perfectly clear to me.

    Many of us are willing to shoulder some or all of that burden.

  2. Great letter. I would add something though, people who attack these programs are doing so under the guise of saving money but it is more about robbing people of their dignity. Tale as old as time, pick on the little guy and degrade him so that you are superior.

  3. stetsonwalker says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how people throw words around like genocide. I do not know of any serious sane person that has promoted any idea such as that. When some one wants to make sure that education money is spent wisely, or does not vote for a school levy the feel is not needed are they trying to put an end to all education? No, they are not, they are simply voting against something they do not see a need for or may not be able to afford! When conservatives in a campaign put someone in the “cross hairs” they get reprimanded, but when a liberal throws the word genocide around it is OK! I really get tired of the double standard!

  4. cclngthr says:

    stetsonwalker,
    Again, what you propose is spending money on a program that discriminates against certain people. Therefore, you prefer that they don’t exist because you feel that they should not have the services.

    Example, a severely disabled child, who needs total care is guaranteed a FAPE education in a public school and is integrated within that school environment. Federal law requires that child to be in school and served alongside non-disabled children; although not necessarily in the same classroom, but in the same school. Brown vs Board of Ed. ruling states that an equal education cannot be SEPARATE and equal at the same time. Equal means the student has to attend the same school as everyone else. IDEA, ADA and Sec. 504 also state the same thing. Therefore, the program MUST integrate that disabled student must attend a regular school and participate in activities which non-disabled students also participate in. Sometimes schools choose to educate the disabled child in the same classroom.

    Federal law guarantees disabled people specific rights, but what you want is to end the program by denying funding to put disabled people in a corner not to be seen again or to you, they are better off dead because you think society cannot afford to serve them.

  5. alindasue says:

    stetsonwalker said, “When conservatives in a campaign put someone in the “cross hairs” they get reprimanded, but when a liberal throws the word genocide around it is OK! I really get tired of the double standard!”

    “Genocide”, the deliberate killing off of a particular segment of population, is an emotionally charged word – and in this case, not accurately used. The comments to which Mr. Guthrie refers were more along the lines of suggestions that the disabled fend for themselves without assistance or special accommodations. Since that would be difficult, if not impossible, for many disabled, it is possible that many would die – but from neglect, not deliberate murder. The effect may be the same: getting rid of the “expensive problem” by allowing it to die off, but it is not genocide.

    Not all the comments were of the “fend for themselves” variety, but there were enough of them that I can understand the Mr. Guthrie’s feelings on the subject.

    stetsonwalker,
    The problem with putting someone in “the cross hairs” or not correcting town hall audience members who yell “Kill him!” is that there are a few nutcases out there who take the call to action seriously. Yes, I know the number of homicidal nutcases in this country is very small (as they are throughout the world) but it only takes a couple to make us realize that inflammatory mock-threats are not the wisest form of discourse.

    Besides, such discourse (from any group) tends to show a serious lack of creativity or persuasive facts.

  6. cclngthr says:

    alindasue,
    Purposeful neglect is deliberate murder, which genocide is the appropriate term that should be used. By not meeting their needs through specific programs or services, or in simple terms, “One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects or diseases.”

    Disabled people, to some people are not human.

  7. stetsonwalker says:

    cclngthr,
    I really do not know if you are mad or off your rocker. The reference I was referring to with school levies was actually directed specifically at school sports. I do not feel sports have any place in a school environment. I was simply using that as an example. It is my opinion that the parks commission should handle youth sports. Every time everyone makes a statement that you do not agree with you act like they are rolling a guy in a whe4elchair off of a cliff! This is not the case. I spent 7 years in the Bethel school district working with handicapped and challenged students as well as helping them. I also spent 3 years with Skookum educational services doing the exact thing. If you would lighten your attitude a bit, I feel you would get more people to at least look at your views and opinions with a more open mind.

  8. cclngthr says:

    A friend of mine has a friend who was able to be a full time mother and have a career. Now, this same person is not able to work because her condition prevents her from working, while she still fullfills her duty as a mother. She, like many disabled people are not 100% bedridden 24/7, but cannot work full time or even part time. Therefore they cannot support themselves because they do not qualify to have services intended for more severely disabled people. A group home or caregiver program requires those who qualify to have a severe disability needing that type of care. If a person is able to function even the slightest bit, they do not qualify for that service. To qualify for caregiver service, the disabled person must be unable to manage finances, cook, clean, or do basic self help needs. Many disabled people are able to manage finances, and do some cooking, cleaning and have self help skills, but can’t manage some things.

    In addition, those disabled people who are able to work are discriminated against in hiring in private sector companies. These companies simply refuse to hire someone with a disability, stating the disability prohibits them from doing the job, even if the disabled person has the skills to do that job.

    By law, “work when able” is not an ADA reasonable accomodation. By law, someone who has to take as little as one day off per week (could work Mon Tues /Thurs Fri with Weds off to rest) is considered “disabled” because they cannot work full-time. The law will not force an employer to hire a 4-day person for a 5-day job, and in some fields, there’s no such thing as a part-time job..Many employers also refuse to hire someone who works from home. The employer requires the employee to go to work at the work location.

  9. cclngthr says:

    stetsonwalker,
    Your attitude is such that speaks of discrimination against certain people. Even if you have worked with disabled students, it is my impression from your comments you truely do not believe that disabled people have a place in society. I not only have a disability, but have taught students including those with disabilities for 28 years in a school district, plus another 3 years before that in a park recreational program.

    With sports in schools, this enables many kids to use sports as a tool to learn. Integrating sports into schools is not only within a helath/PE curriculum, but also within science, reading, math and other core academic subjects. Sports integration allows many children, such as those with ADD/ADHD to focus on the academic material. They cannot sit in a chair and learn efficiently. They must be active. I often use cars to teach academic subjects, to cement academic skills into students heads. Teaching is not sitting at a desk and passively listening at the teacher telling students stuff.

  10. stetsonwalker says:

    But if this sports money (and believe me it is a LOT) was spent instead in vocational classes which especially high schools are sorely in need of, we would get a lot more bang for the dollar. Lets face the facts, most schools will once in a while have a person that becomes a pro sports moneymaker. All schools have people that will become mechanics, construction professionals, custodians and the like. If sports was handled by parks and recreation professionals, that would free up school funding that could be better used to prepare students with skills that could be used for a realistic future.

  11. “stetsonwalker says:
    June 20, 2011 at 11:43 am
    It never ceases to amaze me how people throw words around like genocide. I do not know of any serious sane person that has promoted any idea such as that.”

    Hmmmmm….let’s see…..Sarah Palin…..death panels

    I think you’re right, stetson. No serious sane person…..

  12. stetsonwalker says:

    KARDNOS,
    Call them what you want, that is what is in the Obama health care. A panel that will determine your eligibility for procedures!

  13. cclngthr says:

    stetsonwalker,
    Vocational skills are not the total solution. (and I am referring to K-12 schools). Sports are also part of core curriculum and do serve a purpose in education. The obvious is physical fitness and health. However, sports play a part in reading, math and science as well as employing teamwork, and basic social skills into schools. Education is dependent on having students work alongside each other and at some times, work as a team. Sports plays a part in teaching kids these concepts. Perhaps, you want to rid sports from education because you want kids who are fat, ugly, unhealthy to remain that way. Having sports in the education system offers kids a way to learn in a different form than sitting at a desk passively listening to a teacher spew data at them.

    Some students go to school because of sports and are there only because they learn through sports. If sports were not present, they likely would be in jail. It is also very likely if sports were present in the parks/recreation only, you also would complain that the park/recreation budget is too high because of the costs associated with sports being placed in that budget.

  14. cclngthr says:

    stetsonwalker,
    However, the healthcare proposal offers insurance to those with pre existing conditions, which now are not offered at the same rate as regular insurance. Insurance companies cannot refuse to deny coverage once the plan is in place.

  15. stetsonwalker says:

    cclngthr
    No you are wrong, sports in school caters to a very few percentage of students that would otherwise have to work on their education instead of get catered to because they are important to the “team”. And I never said vocational education was the total answer. Right now you have schools catering to the 30% that may actually complete a college education and the rest fall through the cracks of fending for themselves.

  16. cclngthr says:

    stetsonwalker,
    Vocational subjects do require higher education. Auto repair, which I have taught, and also do during summer break now requires skills beyond a high school education. Drafting, construction and other “vocations” now require at least a B.A. to be considered for employment, particularly those with master licenses.

    For example, take car repair: Cars are built with components that make the necessity of a higher education to understand how the system operates, and the ability to repair that system. It is beyond basic wrench turning. In construction, not only the worker has to have mastered algebra, geometry and basic math, the person has to master pre-college coursework to understand the laws and codes that must be followed. Last I checked, geometry still is a pre-college prep course.

    Team building (in sports) is beyond part of a sport. That same team concept is used in the classroom where people learn to work with each other. What is learned on a team sport is directly linked to the average classroom function.

    You also neglected to say anything about sports being involved in teaching physical fitness and health. If we rid sports from education, we would not be able to teach those skills as effectively.

  17. stetsonwalker says:

    cclngthr
    You are speaking in an area where you seem to have NO expertise now. I have been an ASE certified Master Mechanic for about 30 years now. If you have limited knowledge or mechanical background you certainly do need a trade school to get the basics. But the reality is you are going to learn the trade on the job. You certainly do not need a trade school to get going towards being a mechanic. Now as for construction, no as well. Most contractors I know of want hard working thinking people, Local Roofing is one in particular that I know of right now. he handles many school contracts.

  18. stetsonwalker says:

    cclngthr,
    Now as far as the health care, yes they will be able to deny coverage. Lets say you are 70 years old in need of a triple by pass. The panel that was referred to you can determine if your problem is worth the monetary investment! Yes, just like they do in Canada and Britain!

  19. Genocide: the deliberate, systematic and widespread extermination or attempted extermination of an entire national, racial, religious, or ethnic group.

  20. bobcat1a says:

    “just like they do in Canada and Britain!”

    Stetson, you also should note: just like the insurance companies do now. They do it for profit; government does it to protect public revenue from waste. Medicare has lower overhead than any insurance company. Fact!

  21. cclngthr says:

    stetsonwalker,
    Do you own your own shop? I happen to also co own one and it is ASE certified. I also have obtained MANUFACTURER service training through Hyundai, Ford, GM and other manufacturers that is (mostly) available to dealer service techs, something you likely don’t have access to. Only reason why I have access to this is because my connection to the school system and have taught the subject.. Are you also state certified in emission repair? Most ASE techs are not. That is a separate. To have a basic understanding of the CAN system and other components, the tech has to have training on that, and this is not available at a high school, but at a community/trade college level. Special schools are dedicated to train people for this kind of job. A person with a high school education does not do well without additional training, Even dealer techs are required to get regular training, and this is unpaid. Do you know what pre-production vehicles are like? Ever see any?

    Most shops I know of require a minimum of 5 years experience, or have a trade/college education that offers specialized training on the area. This requires schooling beyond a high schoool education. A high school graduate may only qualify as a trainee, with the requirement that the person receive formal training at an accredited institution that will train that person in automotive service and repair. Body shops are known for requiring this.

    Most contractors do have more than a high school education, and have likely mastered college prep courses to understand the concepts of proper building. It is much easier if they know geometry, and other math to properly build a structure. You think they don’t need that, but in reality, they do. Many contractors that don’t have that background do get red flagged by the county because they don’t follow building codes, or understand why the codes are there. Lincoln Construction is just one contractor I know that does get red flagged quite often because they don’t understand proper building procedures and concepts, something if their employees were knowledgeable on, through coursework, they would not be red flagged.

    I know an author in Canada with a son with multiple disabilities. He tells me all of the medical needs his son Sean has had were not questioned by anybody. They were easily approved without question. I also have heard of another family through news articles that their baby, born with severe disabilities received complete medical care under the Canadian system. I am not buying your arguments there.

  22. cclngthr says:

    bobcat1a,
    Medicare also approves the services more than private companies. Medicare also limits the amount due to the provider as well. My wheelchair, if bought by me would be $8,650. Medicare paid about $5000 for the same unit because they dictate how much things should cost.

  23. stetsonwalker says:

    cclngthr,
    To answer your question, I am fleet certified for emissions, no I do not have the Ford Chev or Slowpar (MoPar) certs, never needed them as the systems are so simple. as for the certs i carry they pay a bit more than cars and light trucks. I am certified Hyster, Clark, JLG man-lifts as well as cranes, Grove cranes Stiener aircraft de icers, cargo loaders s well as air stairs. I am also cerified on EZ go scooters gas, electric and hybrid (yes they have had hybrid scooters for about 20 years now) as well as several more. And in MOST cases in the shops I have been in, the tech school grad starts at the bottom until he catches on to how a real shop works.

  24. stetsonwalker says:

    bobcat
    OK why do Canadians with the great system they have come here for timely treatment?

  25. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Bob- medicare overhead higher. FACT

    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/06/medicare-administrative-costs-are-higher-not-lower-than-for-private-insurance

    Do you really believe the government can operate more efficiently than private business?

  26. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Some bargin for the taxpayers-

    According to the 2008 Medicare Trustee report, there were 45.2 million people on Medicare and the progam cost was $468 billion. That breaks down to $10,400 per person. Not in the government expenditure of $468 billion are the cost of buildings, equipment, heat, electricity, utilities, etc.

  27. Since when is a heritage foundation report not a mere corporate cheerleading campaign? Please

  28. The Heritage Foundation: a conservative policy research and analysis think tank based in Washington D.C.

    The fruit does not fall far from the tree.

  29. alindasue says:

    stetsonwalker said, “Call them what you want, that is what is in the Obama health care. A panel that will determine your eligibility for procedures!”

    I don’t know about your health insurance, but my Blue Cross policy requires that all “non-emergency” hospitalization and most major procedures must be “pre-approved” by them to determine if they will pay for the care. There is also a long list of procedures they will not pay for and an even longer list of medications and health equipment they won’t cover (much of it needed by people who are disabled or have serious illnesses).

    That is a health insurance group plan through work provided by a major insurance company. What is in “the Obama health care” is that the insurance company’s pre-approval panel can’t cut off your treatment for a serious illness just because you’ve suddenly become expensive to treat.

    stetsonwalker also said, “OK why do Canadians with the great system they have come here for timely treatment?”

    If the health insurance system in our country was already so great without “Obamacare”, why do many US citizens go to Canada and Mexico for access to affordable treatments?

    Despite having Medicare and a Medi-gap policy, my parents who winter in Arizona still get most of their non-emergency medical and dental work done during that season while they are living close to the Mexican border. The service is good and it costs considerably them less.

  30. cclngthr says:

    stetsonwalker,
    Do you get training on pre-production vehicles? A friend of mine is a service tech instructor with an engineering background with Hyundai, and I have personally seen and taken pre-production classes before the vehicle is released for full production in the classes he has let me participate in. Last one I took was for the 2012 Accent, which uses a new GDI system on a 1.6 liter 4 cylindar engine using a eco boost system that allows the car to obtain a 40+ mpg epa rating. A 6 speed auto with manual mode is used on the car. HP and TQ rating is 138 and 123, about what the earlier Beta 2 2 liter engines Hyundai used for many years. It is the only GDI vehicle in its class.

    Mazda also uses a GDI system on the Mazdaspeed engine, which is turbocharged. My Mazda uses the same engine, but I swapped the turbo engine head with the fuel delivery system for the N/A head, which is MPFI, in my N/A Mazda. Even without the turbo, the GDI headed engine in my car produces more power and fuel economy than the original confifuration (even with the 5 speed automatic). I am seeing at least 38 mph on the highway instead of 29.

    The shops I have worked with at the school enable the student to work as a trainee. Those fresh out of college/trade school do start working on cars unsupervised. If the person graduated from Wyotech, what I have seen is Wyotech coursework does not always transfer to further training requirements at the local level. While Wyotech does mass advertisements in schools, going there actually limits the student in ways they don’t expect.

    I take a medication that in the USA, costs $175 for one months supply. In Canada, the same drug costs less than $50 for the same drug. As for the number of Canadians coming here for medical treatment, the group is mostly the wealthy, who can afford such costs to come here.

    In France, the healthcare system uses a combination of publically funded and private insurance plans. Austrailian healthcare operates similar as the French system, using a combination of public and private healthcare insurance.

    What these systems do is limit the amount due to the provider. The government controls what is paid to medical providers. In the USA, medical providers charge whatever they think is a fair price. In countries which have a taxpayer funded system, the system dictates what the provider is paid based on what service is done.

    As for wait times, that depends on the number of people served. In the USA, not all people have access to medical care, and in Canada, everyone has access to medical care and is expected to use it. Due to the smaller number of people accessing USA medical care, the wait times are shorter.

  31. cclngthr says:

    alindasue,
    The school district health plan is similar to your plan, and they do prohibit necessary treatment for disabled people. When I worked full time, I was quoted a $2,100 monthly premium that limited care on any mobility devise or procedure related to my disability. If I had to have a hip replacement procedure done, that procedure would be denied because my disability, which is physical, would be grounds to deny that procedure due to having additional stress on the hip joint.

    As I said to stetson, medications are a fraction of the cost in Canada vs here. Advair in the USA is over $190.00. In Canada, it is as low as $56.99. Dilantin, a antiseizure medication in Canada costs $24.99 for a months supply. In the USA, the same drug costs $98.95.

  32. “stetsonwalker says:
    June 20, 2011 at 5:35 pm
    KARDNOS,
    Call them what you want, that is what is in the Obama health care. A panel that will determine your eligibility for procedures!

    What the hell do you think the insurance companies have??????

    I know a registered nurse that left a pediatric practice to man a phone for Blue Cross and decide if people should get covered.

    “no sane person”……

  33. cc….do you realize that Dilantin has been on the market for over 50 years?

  34. Once again we see the sociopathy of the gopcult.
    Reagan made people with disabilites ENEMIES OF THE STATE. It is reprehensible to listen to these freaks whine about taking care of a fellow citizen who is unable to work.
    I actually am in the process of opening a private non profit school for children who are deafblind or have mulitiple disabilities. Two years ago I took one of my students to the state capital to testify before the senate on a bill that was designed to eliminate discrimination against people with mulitiple disabilities. The lone Republican on the committee had one thing to say. He wanted to know where the money would come from to fund this bill. His total disregard for the people he was talking about turned my stomach and from the reaction of the audience they too were sickened by this man’s attempt to say disabled people arent worth the money to keep safe.
    The gopcult is destroying America with their sociopathy.

  35. Guess what? In those socialist countries.. you kid needs glasses, hearing aids, wheelchair, specialized medical equipment etc… you kids get them. NOT HERE in america though.

  36. itwasntmethistime says:

    sue — If only one guy in the whole group asked how we are going to pay for something, he was the only guy with the skills to get that something funded. So many of you people think health care is some magical commodity we can gather and spread at will. No, it isn’t. Health care is people and equipment. The providers need to be paid and the equipment needs to be purchased. If we don’t pay our health care providers and we don’t purchase the necessary equipment, health care simply doesn’t exist.

    There is only one possible way for health care to be free and that’s if you and all your friends go to medical school so you can treat everyone for free. I’ll let you worry about how to pay for medical school because, after all, with something as important as health care money shouldn’t even enter the conversation.

  37. cclngthr says:

    KARDNOS,
    Dilantin is also more expensive here in the USA. Also it is not always available in a generic form in a particular dosage. The infatab version is not available in generic, it, (it is a chewable tablet) is only available in the brand name form.

    sue1234,
    I see it being repeated. However, unlike the Reagan era, I see it getting worse, and it may end up being like before the 50’s where disabled people were denied education, and were shoved into institutions and had very few civil rights.

    A disabled person already is denied work in many cases, as I have said earlier, they already have problems getting insurance to begin with, and if they do work, what work conditions they are offered does not include insurance.

    itwasntmethistime,
    The problem is medical care for certain people is not available at the same rate, and what usually happens is the medical care is denied because of the condition they have. Therefore, the person would end up paying huge premiums just for the denial of services that is necessary for basic health needs. Essentially, the coverage does not exist, so the provider does not get paid because the insurance refuses to pay for the service required by the person.

    Without the necessary medical care, the person is not able to work, let alone be independent. That politician asking where the money was coming from implied the money should come from the disabled person, who already is unable in the majority of cases to provide decent medical care because they don’t have the funds to do that.

    What that person implied was if a person is unable to fund things on their own, they should get absolutely nothing because the person is not worth living. Only the fittest get services.

  38. alindasue says:

    itwasntmethistime said, “There is only one possible way for health care to be free…”

    Only a very small segment of the population is expecting “free” medical care. What most of us want is for health care to be affordable and available. For many people, especially the working disabled, it is often neither free or available.

    Countries with socialized medicine do not provide medical service for free; the people pay for it with their taxes. There are two ways this could be done: a flat per person tax that would be charged or as a slight increase in our taxes under the scaled tax system we already have. (The latter would have an effect similar to a sliding fee scale clinic, making medical care affordable – but not free – for low income people.)

  39. itwasntmethistime says:

    But, alindasue, 50% of the people in this country don’t pay any income taxes at all. If we were to pay for socialized medicine with taxes, that would mean 50% of people would be getting it for free. You can go to the doctor at Rite-Aid for $59, but the free clinics are packed all the time.

    What ideas do you have to make health care both affordable and available? To treat more people, more often, we would need more doctors. Medical schools can only pump out doctors so fast. As far as affordability, once a doctor has invested 13 years and a few hundred thousand dollars becoming a doctor, they expect to get paid well. Unless the government gets into the business of educating and training doctors, I just can’t see how we can ever meet the demand.

  40. itwasnt…..

    Facts:
    America has the highest per capita cost for health care
    America does not have the best health care compared with other wealthy post-industrial societies.
    Other countries with single-payer pay less and have better results.

    Yes – taxes on everyone would have to rise if a tax-paid plan were to be put into place – this would include those who currently are below the tax threshold. Yes – if everyone was treated adequately that would raise the demand for qualified doctors……..basic capitalism regarding demand and supply. Your argument requires us to believe that nothing would/could change when/if single payer was put into place.

  41. cclngthr says:

    alindasue,
    For the working disabled, this is a very small number compared to the total number of disabled people. Many are denied the luxury of even working because they cannot perform work in normal cicumstances. By law, “work wnen able” is not a reasonable accomodation under ADA guidelines. Employers can refuse to “accomodate” a disabled person because in their mind, the accomodation is unreasonable.

    itwasntmethistime,
    The only issue with the sliding scale deductables is the income most low income people get only covers very basic sustainable needs. It does not include any form of healthcare issues. Same with a state funded program. It only covers rent, utilities, food and very basic clothing needs. For example, the amount people on SSI receive is $674 per month. Out of that, they must pay rent, food, utilities, clothing, etc. There is no room for the person to pay any healthcare needs without needed medical help. To qualify for SSI, the person cannot have resources that go over a certain amount, which is around $2,000.

    Here is another example: I qualify for some reduction in dental care, however a root canal I would pay is still $750 for 1 tooth. Pulling the tooth is $40.00.

    I think healthcare includes dental, vision, basic medical, and also mental health.

  42. concernedtacoma7 says:

    BB- spreading the cost does not change how much healthcare costs to the nation as a whole.

    Tort reform would be a good place to start.

    Charge people by the pound, triple it if they smoke.

    And Sue and ccl, do you see kids wandering blindly in the streets? Homemade crutches at the bus stop? No, you don’t. What you see is every kid on meds because their fat lazy parents want a vegetable instead of an active child. They cry their kid has problem when they do terrible in school, but never read to them or helped with homework.

    “For many people, especially the working disabled, it is often neither free or available”.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/06/why-hasnt-anyone-signed-up-for-the-high-risk-health-insurance-pools/239833/

    Its there

  43. cclngthr says:

    WA State health insurance pool program has a premium ranging from $183 to $1,642 per month depending on the plan and coverages. Lower premium usually requires a higher co-pay and deductable.

    However, those on a limited income may not be able to afford the premium or co-pay/deductables. Therefore, the choice is to forgo the insurance due to its cost.

  44. itwasntmethistime says:

    I’m not following. Where are the additional doctors going to come from? Our medical schools are at capacity so we can’t train any more doctors per year than we are now. Starting new schools or enlarging the existing ones is the obvious answer, but since it takes 9 years of education/internship/residency before a doctor can practice it will be at least 12 years or so before we could expect to see any increase in the number of practicing physicians.

  45. itwasntmethistime says:

    concernedTac — I’m in your corner on this one. I pay about $4000 per year in premiums and I have a $4000 deductible before insurance kicks in a penny. It is in my best financial interest to keep my family as healthy as possible so I can avoid paying that deductible. I’m not really all that excited about subsidizing health care for people who don’t treat their bodies well and go to the doctor for every little thing when we put so much effort into doing everything we can to reduce medical costs for our family.

  46. stetsonwalker says:

    “I take a medication that in the USA, costs $175 for one months supply. In Canada, the same drug costs less than $50 for the same drug”

    One of the reasons for this is USDA requirements make drug introduction very costly here. One of the reasons Canada and Mexico have such low drug prices is they just rubber stamp the drug after the USDA approves it through exhaustive research so they do not have to pay for additional research requirements.

  47. cclngthr says:

    concernedtacoma7,
    Insurance pools charge premiums that easily go beyond the disposable income levels most disabled people get. If a person receives $850 per month SSDI, that goes for rent, utilities, food and basic needs. Housing costs take up most of that IF they can find housing that is affordable. Where I used to live, rent was $600 per month plus utilities.

    Most rental places require the tenant to earn 2.25 times the rental amount. At that $600 rent, the person must have a minimum of $1350. How do you think the person can get decent housing with a $850 a month income? Not that easy to do.

    With kids on medication. Many times the medication is a necessity to function. With ADHD and ADD, if the person does not take needed medication, they are unable to focus on ANYTHING. In addition to this, some kids with ADD/HD symptoms have bipolar, which that disorder also produces similar signs, and bipolar is not always treated correctly. Many kids have dental problems due to the lack of dental health care. People with dental problems have additional health concerns as well.

    As I said above, the SSDI benefit only supports very basic needs. Food, shelter, clothing are a priority over healthcare. Many people, including older people choose shelter and food costs over healthcare. I know some older people who don’t take their medications as prescribed because the costs are too high.

    If you only got $1100 a month, and your rent is $750, and you had a $350 medical insurance premium a month, wold you forgo rent for medical or forgo medical for rent?

  48. itwasn’tme – When the Soviets sent up Sputnik the US didn’t have the scientists to launch a Moon race.

  49. cclngthr says:

    itwasntmethistime,
    However, you can afford that $333 a month premium. If you only received a bit more than $1,000 a month, could you afford that $333 a month premium, and still pay your housing, utility and food costs?

    stetsonwalker,
    Canada dictates the costs of medications. They don’t depend on the USA to do the research and testing, they have their own form of drug approvals. They allow some drugs that are banned here. They regulate the healthcare costs.

    If the USA regulated the healthcare costs, it would be lower. The wheelchair I have would cost be $8650. However, medicare only pays a fraction of that and the price is around $5,000 for the unit and the medicare price is locked in. The manufacturer cannot charge more than the allowable amount set by medicare.

  50. stetsonwalker says:

    cclngthr
    I have news for you, the form of drug approval relies on the testing done here, they simply rubber stamp everything we approve and if we did not approve it they simply study our reason for non approval and if they can accept liability for that it will be approved. Oh and our lack of decent tort reform does not help our pricing either.

  51. beerBoy — I think your point is that we were behind, but caught up relatively quickly. Are you thinking that over the grand scheme of things the 10 or 12 years it takes to get more doctors on the scene will be inconvenient, but eventually just a blip in our memory? If that’s where you are going I can see that. (The construction of the new Narrows Bridge was a major hassle at the time, but now looking back it was worth it. Same goes for 9 months of pregnancy hell.)
    The older folks without much more than 10 or 12 years are going to feel shafted.

  52. cclngthr says:

    The average SSDI check is less than minimum wage. That minimum wage (federal) is gross at $1200. Take home pay is about $1008. WA state minimum wage totals are slightly higher at $1377 a month gross or $1157.18 take home pay.

    Medicare requires the person to pay 20% of the total bill plus deductables if they don’t qualify for state assistance. To qualify for state assistance, the person cannot make more than $900 a month in SSDI. If they do, the state will pay for the premium and the 20% co-pay.

  53. cclngthr says:

    In the USA, 35% of disabled people have access to some type of work with 78% of non-disabled people having access to some type of work. 1/3 of employers state that disabled people cannot perform the required job tasks. This is the second most reason of not hiring people with disabilities. In Chicago, only 6% of disabled people find full time employment.

  54. freakycougar12 says:

    stetsonwalker,

    I take a drug not available in the United States because the FDA has not approved it (domperidone). I get it from Canada. This drug is available all over the world except for here. It is perfectly safe and has far fewer side effects than the drug available in the US for the same medical condition (metoclopramide).

    Why? No drug company will go through the approval process for what is a generic drug everywhere else. There’s no money in it. I pay 18 cents/pill.

    Canada has their own drug approval process and it doesn’t piggyback on ours.

    Thankfully the FDA allows me to obtain this drug from Canada for “compassionate” reasons. It tapers the worst of the constant nausea.

  55. stetson – tort reform hasn’t lowered medical costs anywhere that I know of.

  56. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, “Study after study shows that costs associated with malpractice lawsuits make up 1% to 2% of the nation’s $2.5 trillion annual health-care bill and that tort reform would barely make a dent in the total.”

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_39/b4148030880703.htm

  57. itwasntmethistime says:

    beerBoy — A mere 1% of $2.5 trillion is $25 billion. When did $25 billion become an inconsequential amount?

  58. itwasntmethistime says:

    cc — The solution is clear. You need to start a company and then employ as many disabled workers as you see fit, rather than complaining that others aren’t.

  59. cclngthr says:

    freakycougar12,

    Stetson doesn’t think Canada, or any other country has a drug approval process. Why then, I would ask him, are drugs available elsewhere and not here? I don’t think he has an answer to that. He just talks out of his rear end without any concept of knowing what a disabled person goes through in getting jobs, medical care, etc. It takes one disabled person to know another.

    beerBoy,
    Malpractice suits occur everywhere. 73% of them involve medical errors, negligence in hospitals and outpatient care. 33% of malpractice claims are caused by misdiagnosis. No single medical condition is associated with more than 5% of such claims.

    To reduce claims, doctors need to reduce misdiagnosis and negligence.

  60. cclngthr says:

    itwasntmethistime,
    Not that simple. One problem there is insurance companies still deny coverage for needed services, and the premium price is beyond the earned income of disabled people. WA state prices are up to $1642 a month for the high risk pool, something that is beyond the reach of most people. That pool insurance determines what the premium price should be. The disabled person has no choice in what they must pay.

    SSDI average benefit per month is $1,063 a month. Out of that, rent takes up the majority of that. Utilities, food, clothing take up the rest. Where are they going to find the money to pay this insurance premium? You think disabled people can find rents as low as $200. Average rents here is $700.00 a month for a 1 bedroom apartment. .

    Even if they mave medicare, medicare requires the person to pay 20% of the medical costs in addition to the $115 premium. To qualify for state aid, the monthly income the person can have is no more than $674 per month.

  61. itwasntmethistime says:

    cc — Then why don’t you go to medical school so you can provide low-cost medical care to disabled people?

  62. cclngthr says:

    itwasntmethistime,
    Low cost medical care is not that simple when you have conditions that require different methods to treat a disabled person.

    Take dental care for example on a person with CP. That person with CP may have more dental problems due to drooling, tongue thrusting, and medications taken. Additionally, treating that person usually requires anesthesia to adequately treat that person due to muscle tension in the jaw, tongue and mouth. Anesthesia is a specialized treatment not always available in dental offices and generally requires hospitalization to be used due to the risks involved.

    1. Tongue thrusting forces the teeth to move outward. Not much can be done to prevent that, and braces may not always be the right treatment.
    2. Drooling and excess saliva can damage the surface of the teeth. More frequent professional cleaning is necessary, however insurance plans only allow professional cleaning every 6 months.
    3. Medications such as Dilantin (to control seizures) recesses the gums and damage tooth surfaces, making decay more prevalent. Not using that medication is not possible nor, as I said in #2 the more frequent cleaning is not possible.

    It is more expensive to treat a disabled person because the standard treatment simply does not work. Specialized care that involves a high risk issue is often necessary. That drives up the cost very quickly.

  63. itwasntmethistime says:

    cc — Then go to dental school. When you yourself are providing free or low-cost dental care to all the disabled people who need it you can criticize the rest of us selfish bastards.

    If you see a need go fill it.

  64. cclngthr says:

    itwasntmethistime,
    Society should treat people on an equal basis, and not have one group (such as you) have access to services that are unavailable to others because that one group thinks they are the only people deserving of such services. Currently, medical care and other services are only available to those who are the fittest in society. The rest of society, including disabled people are considered unhuman because they, to the elite group should not exist in society.

    1. 80% of disabled people in the world are unemployed, due to access and perception of employability by non-disabled people. 6% of disabled people in the city of Chicago are employed. Those who are employed work in manual labor/minimum wage positions. Nationwide in the US, 21.1% of disabled people actually work compared to 70% of non-disabled people.
    2. 33% of disabled people live in poverty.
    3. 13% of disabled people die during the first 24 months of SSDI elegibility.
    4. Average doctor visits by disabled people per year is 22.
    5. Average hospital stays for a disabled person is 7.

  65. itwasntmethistime says:

    cc — So run for office. Or, I’ll recycle a recent idea, go to medical or dental school and provide the services disabled people are not getting their fair share of. Or start a business and hire a bunch of disabled people. Or start a private school and teach as many disabled students as you wish, in the manner you wish. It’s not rocket science that the people who DO things are holding all the cards. Go do something.

  66. cclngthr says:

    When society actively discriminates against disabled people, it falls on everyone in society to make that discriminatory behavior stop, not just the efforts of 1 person.

    There are 54 million disabled people in the United States. Some of those are people who served in armed forces and were born without a disability.

    Disability includes:
    1.Used a wheelchair, a cane, crutches, or a walker
    2.Had difficulty performing one or more functional activities (seeing, hearing, speaking, lifting/carrying, using stairs, walking, or grasping small objects)
    3.Had difficulty with one or more activities of daily living. (The ADLs included getting around inside the home, getting in or out of bed or a chair, bathing, dressing, eating, and toileting.)
    4.Had difficulty with one or more instrumental activites of daily living. (The IADLs included going outside the home, keeping track of money and bills, preparing meals, doing light housework, taking prescription medicines in the right amount at the right time, and using the telephone.)
    5.Had one or more specified conditions (a learning disability, mental retardation or another developmental disability, Alzheimers disease, or some other type of mental or emotional condition)
    6.Had any other mental or emotional condition that seriously interfered with everyday activities (frequently depressed or anxious, trouble getting along with others, trouble concentrating, or trouble coping with day-to-day stress)
    7.Had a condition that limited the ability to work around the house
    8.If age 16 to 67, had a condition that made it difficult to work at a job or business
    9.Received federal benefits based on an inability to work.

    The major reason employers refuse to hire a disabled person is:
    They feel the person is not qualified because they cannot do the same job as a non-disabled person would do it. They don’t want to hire them because of the image created and the possible increased costs associated with the disability. It is known that disabilities do create higher costs of medical care and more frequent absences. Employers want employees with no disability or have high medical needs because it is cheaper on the employer to only hire those without disabilities and those with no medical conditions. Those without disabilities can work daily without getting sick often and can work on a daily basis.

  67. itwasntmethistime says:

    cc — Again, start a business and hire disabled people.

  68. cclngthr says:

    itwasntmethistime,
    All you want to do is kill people off and disregard them as Hitler did with Jews and his unmentionables (as he put it). Just because you are greedy and think disabled are lower class, not everyone thinks that way.

    Hiring someone assumes they are capable of doing the job. Many disabled people cannot work due to their functioning. If you are severely retarded, what kind of work are they able to do independently? Same with mental disorders. With schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, it is not always possible for them to work at all. I know one person who has bipolar and she cannot work because her mental state is such that she can’t focus on work. Their mind can’t function well enough all the time to focus on work. They may be able to do independent living with some assistance, but in a competitive work environment, they can’t.

    The legal term of “work when able” is not a reasonable accomodation. Work when able may mean the person works 2 days and is off 10 days. Employers want employees to have regular steady hours of work, not irregular inconsistant hours of work. Work at home usually doesn’t apply because the work is not always on a computer. Even my work as a teacher is not always on a computer. Due to the policies of districts now, communicating with students via text or online is strictly forbidden, and the teacher who does it risks being fired for doing it. All communication with students has to be in person in the school.

    Some disabled people are so severely disabled, they need assistant care. I know of several people who are mentally normal, but are severely disabled physically and they are not working.

    Additionally, disabled people also include severe/profoundly disabled people. They too are included in the numbers.

  69. itwasntmethistime says:

    cc —

    1. You vacillate so fast I’m getting dizzy. On the one hand you say “80% of disabled people in the world are unemployed, due to access and perception of employability by non-disabled people” and “The major reason employers refuse to hire a disabled person is they feel the person is not qualified because they cannot do the same job as a non-disabled person would do it. They don’t want to hire them because of the image created and the possible increased costs associated with the disability,” but on the other hand you also argue that “Many disabled people cannot work due to their functioning.” Those selfish bastard employers won’t hire disabled people because they are selfish bastards, never mind that the disabled people can’t actually perform the tasks the job requires.

    2. You are insistent on critizing others for not doing what you yourself won’t do.

    3. We’re back to genocide? Did it ever occur to you that your troubles finding employment may not be due to your CP, but instead might be due to your tendency to think that everyone wants to kill you?

  70. itwasn’t – more from the same source

    Look at Texas, which enacted some of the most extensive malpractice reforms in the nation in 2003. The number of lawsuits in the state has fallen by half since then, and malpractice premiums are down 30%. But health-care costs in Texas are still among the highest in the nation and are growing at a faster rate than in most other states.

  71. The CBO estimated that malpractice premiums and awards to patients represent less than 2% of overall health-care spending. The CBO also concluded that any reductions in medical overtreatment from tort reform would be negligible. “So-called defensive medicine may be motivated less by liability concerns than by the income it generates for physicians,” the government economists concluded.

    ibid.

  72. The Institute of Medicine, an independent adviser to the government, estimates that as many as 100,000 Americans die yearly from medical mistakes. But only about 4% of injured patients or their families sue, according to a Harvard study. And only 1 in 5 lawsuits awards the patient. “The amazing thing is that more patients don’t sue,” says Paul H. Keckley, director of Deloitte’s Center for Health Solutions.

    ibid.

  73. cclngthr says:

    itwasntmethistime,
    1. 80% of disabled people ARE unemployed. Some of the 80% include those unable to go to work because of the severety of their disability, which is about 5% of that number.

    The majority of disabled people have mild to moderate disabilities. These people can work. Most employers do not want to hire them due to the disability.

    I have worked for over 25 years. In those years, I have noticed an increasing amount of discourse that promotes the issues of discrimination against disabled people. I know a teacher in the Tacoma School District who was in a wheelchair due to a spinal injury, but was told to quit because of the disability. I know another teacher in the same district who was denied reasonable accomodations due to her health condition. She was trying to get a similar accoodation a teacher at Birney has. District refused to do that saying that her condition does not warrant the expense of the accomodation.

    I know a teacher with CP who was hired in the Bethel School District and an article about him was in the paper. 2 years later I heard that he was asked to leave because staff and parents did not want him in the building. His handwriting was legible, if you took the time to read it, and his voice, similar to mine, was heard, but it took time to get used to. District likely had complaints from parents due to his voice.

    Some people with disabilities are not able to work on a consistant basis. A friend of mine has CFS known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. CFS can make the person employable only in certain conditions and times. 1/5th of CFS patients work full time.

    Back pain is a disorder that often results in reduced work. I sold a wheelchair to a young guy who has extreme back pain due to degenerative disc disease. He said he is unable to stand, sit or lay for long periods of time. The former manager at the apartment complex I used to live at also had the disorder and her physical limitations still enabled her to work, but work was inconsistant.

    2.It takes more than 1 person to do the work. My job of criticism is what I feel should be done, by showing exactly how disabled people are treated particularly in the workplace. I see more of it than most because I am in that group.

  74. itwasntmethistime says:

    If I own a business and I need someone to answer the phone or run a cash register or fix things or whatever else I need, I need those things done daily. I can’t hire someone who misses a lot of work, even if it is for a legitimate reason. Not having reliable employees is a sure way to run your business into the ground.

    Even with part-time jobs you have to commit to being there at a certain time, for a certain length of time. The part-time jobs I had when I was younger all scheduled 1 to 2 weeks out, so for instance today, June 24, you would get your schedule for the week of July 3rd. How is an employer supposed to know which days someone with CFS is going to feel good 2 weeks from now, and what is that employer supposed to do when the poor guy with CFS calls in tired the morning of his shift?

    Again, since you think employers who don’t hire disabled people are selfish bastards, why don’t you start a business and fill your ranks with disabled workers?

  75. cclngthr says:

    itwasntmethistime,
    Technically, CFS patients like my friend are unemployable in that sense. However, she owns and runs a legal document proofing business that she and 3 other people proof legal documents for courts. This she does as convenient for her on her schedule which is not based on a fixed hour or day schedule. A fixed schedule does not always work, where a flexible schedule, a reasonable accomodation can be made if the employer chooses to do that. Being “unemployable” means they should be on SSDI, which you seem to think they should not be on.

    I worked full time for 10 years, however, my body at the time could withstand the stress. However, working full time I had no medical insurance because the premium costs were just below my take-home pay in addition to the issue of medical being increasing in cost and it being routinely being denied if I did have insurance. I felt that with me having the possibility of needing to use medical services more often, going to part time work and getting on medicare was the better choice because I could continue to work and be working for more years than I would be if I continued to work full time.

    However, that said, there is this stereotype that disabled people should not work at all. A psychologist in high school told me I never would be able to become a teacher based on her opinion of my ability to do paperwork, supervise kids and speak well enough for kids to understand me. Other staff over time also questioned supervisors of my ability to teach:
    1. 1 teacher said I should be toileting kids (I will not do that given the climate today).
    2. A couple administrators felt I cannot escort students up/down stairs fast enough or have kids unsupervised going through the stairway.
    3. A administrator felt my handwriting was illegible on the board, where a para felt it was OK.
    #2 and 3 were reviewed by equity and diversity and were dismissed based on discrimination issues. #1 was also dismissed because teachers can choose not to put themselves in positions which they feel as inappropriate.

    When I student taught, I had a parent complain about me teaching his kid sex education because he felt disabled people are unable to control sexual urges. The lesson was reviewed and approved prior to delivery by both the school administration and university supervising professor, in addition to being observed by both administration and university personnel and being video recorded as per requirements of the university program. The lesson was a health lesson which a reference to future lessons on sex education were mentioned once. District felt the lesson was appropriate and the parent was out of line.

    You should remember a month ago where a dwarf brought on a discrimination suit against Starbucks because the company that hired her refused to allow a reasonable accomodation.

    Discrimination also occurs in housing. HUD did a study where they had non-disabled people and disabled people inquire about rental properties. Disabled people were told more often that no units were available and when a non-disabled person inquired about a unit in the same property, it was indeed available.

    When I moved, I inquired 10 properties and only found ONE that showed me a unit made it possible to receive a rental application. The rest, which advertized was having vacancies, said no vacancies were available and refused to show me a unit. My old place had people saying I should be in a group home, including the management because of my disability.

  76. itwasntmethistime says:

    Your friend with CFS has the right idea. I like that because she couldn’t find a job working for someone else that met her special needs she created her own job. Your friend’s attitude and initiative are to be commended.

  77. itwasntmethistime says:

    I don’t have a solution to the problem of housing discrimination, but I understand why it happens. Disabled people are hard on living units. Minor damage to walls from wheelchairs and walkers and spills on carpets that can’t be cleaned thoroughly right away cause substantial expense, usually more than the damage deposit will cover.

*
We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0