Monday, May 6, 2013

Disability News

picture of newspaper
Advocates Say Managed-Care Plans Shun the Most Disabled Medicaid Users
Nina Bernstein, New York Times - April 30, 2013

Erin Richards, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - May 2, 2013

These two articles illustrate one of the less understood and recognized ways people with disabilities are subjected to organized discrimination. In both cases, you have for-profit organizations that benefit financially from providing the least possible service, because they are paid a flat per-person fee for their service, regardless of how much they provide. In one case, it's managed care health insurance plans, in the other it's private schools paid by government vouchers. Both are being expected to produce better results for less money. When their customers are easy to serve, everything's golden. But people with disabilities … whether students in school or patients of any age … are by definition more difficult to serve. Maybe not difficult, but certainly more labor-intensive. The fewer of us these programs have to serve, the better they like it, and the better they look … as long as nobody looks very closely to see who they've left out.

Scott O. Lilienfield and Hal Arkowitz, Scientific American - May 1, 2013

ADHD is one of those conditions that have become so weighted with ideology that it's hard to even begin discussing it in practical terms. People who dislike medications in general or distrust pharmaceutical companies suggest that ADHD is an industry put-on. People who care a great deal about creativity and individuality suspects it's an excuse for authorities to drug kids into bland obedience. This article provides an overview of evidence for and against the widely-held notion that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is over-diagnosed, and reminds us that whatever the extent or scope of ADHD, it is almost certainly a real disability for those who do have it.

Three-Part Series On The Backlog Of Disability Claims At The Veteran's Administration
Kayla Williams, Time Magazine

Here is the series of blog posts at on the VA backlog, that I referred to some time ago.
These articles are another great example, I think, of an effort to bring clarity and some semblance of objectivity to a highly politicized and frustrating issue.