Helping the ADA’s insurance safe harbor is necessary

Helping the Disabled

Health insurance agencies, laws and the courts discriminate
against the disabled population because they think they are costly, think they’re
diseased, require special or specific services, covering only services that
would improve their disability, not covering it because it’s not considered a disability,
even if it hinders their disability more; they will limit their benefits, denying
wellness plans, not covering basic needs such as wheelchairs, stereotyping and
stigmas, Blake (2017).

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THE WHY

While the safe harbor’s harms are somewhat limited by the
advent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they are not entirely neutralized.
This article argues that there are both practical and principled reasons for
amending the ADA to remove the insurance safe harbor. Practically speaking, the
ADA could prove a useful tool to challenge aspects of the ACA that place the
disabled at a disadvantage, but the insurance safe harbor limits this reach in
meaningful ways. From a more principled or philosophical lens, the insurance
safe harbor is a law that perpetuates stigma against the disabled and that no
longer reflects the views of American society. For these reasons, and many
others, a rethinking of the ADA’s insurance safe harbor is necessary and timely,
Blake, Abstract, (2017).

Examples and Explanations

I found out while at my clinical today at Lyle A. Torrant
Center that insurance coverage is the hardest and biggest issue right now there.
They were so excited to use the right kind of chair that doesn’t strain the children’s
necks and technology equipment that can help the children improve their disabilities.
I witnessed how much they improved with the simple yet costly equipment in a
matter of minutes.

A single mom that has a disabled son comes there to work
and she mentioned how hard it was to get her insurance to cover simple things
like a tube connector even though the insurance pays for the equipment that you
plug it into. It would cost her a couple hundred out of her pocket. She stated “You
have to be a fighter if you want to get it”, mom at Lyle Torrent (2018, January
24). She told me she fights and gets the things she needs, but it’s a monthly
battle and not everyone is a fighter like her. She also has Blue Cross Blue Shield
and Meridian to her advantage too. A lot of the disabled population has Meridian
which can both be a good and bad thing. Public insurance can prevent them from
working or less, they will get more benefits, but not all they need necessarily,
Blake, para. 10,11 (2017). If they don’t fight for their benefits then they won’t
get everything they need and those are the ones I’m concerned about.

 

CONCLUSION

Ending the insurance safe
harbor could be a way to reconcile the ADA with the ACA, embrace public support
for antidiscrimination in healthcare financing, and fight stigmatizing notions
that the disabled are somehow less worthy of mutual aid in healthcare. It is
worth further consideration as to whether repeal or modification is possible,
and what the ramifications of such a repeal might be, Blake, para. 39 (2017).

My Input

            After watching the kids excel today and seeing the struggles
they go through and reading about the discrimination online I believe the
ending safe harbor would be most beneficial. The ACA could be tweaked to where
it would include the disabled without discrimination. I think awareness of the
stigma is what will make people come to terms with it and abolish safe harbor
or at least change it. The disabled deserve to live comfortable just like any
other person and making it harder or nearly impossible I believe is
discrimination.