Health Care Reform Provisions for Disabled in need of Active Voices

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Health care reform contains provisions for individuals with disabilities, but they are not yet a reality. Regulations that can improve access to medical care and independent living are not yet written, making an active voice important.

Transportation, compensation, education and other resources for individuals with disabilities should remain a regulatory focus, but without active voices, expanded services for Americans with disabilities may never get funding.

Heather A. McCabe, J.D., assistant professor in Indiana University's School of Social Work says it's important to get involved and make your opinions known if health care legislation is to be delivered as promised.

Heath Care Reform Policies will Require Participation

"Regardless of whether you like the reforms, you need to participate in the regulatory process," said McCabe, who also has adjunct faculty positions in the Department of Public Health at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and with the IU School of Law-Indianapolis. Many key heath care reform policies are yet to be written, making it important to follow proposals and remain active.


McCabe says, "Contact senators. Talk to state and U.S. representatives. Follow the Federal Register for opportunities to comment on proposed regulations. Partner with membership groups. Write letters and tell your story -- It's amazing what kind of attention it can get."

McCabe will discuss the impact of health care reform on people with disabilities during the Disability Section Chair's Forum panel discussion at the annual American Public Health Association (APHA) session on Nov. 7 at 2:30 p.m. in the Denver Convention Center.

The Federal Register contains lists of health care reform proposals, documents, notices of federal agencies, organizations and executive orders. Some of the provisions include expanding transportation services for the disadvantaged and disable and more flexibility for Medicaid coverage from State to State that can allow a more individualized approach for creating programs for the disabled. Many of the regulations have already been rewritten in response to public comment.

If Republicans are successful at defunding health reform legislation designed to help the disabled, the effect could be the same as a repeal. Search the Federal Register using keywords that include "health care reform" to pull up more information. Make public comments. Health care reform contains provisions that have yet to be written and may never come to fruition for millions of Americans living with disabilities without an active voice.

American Public Health Association



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