Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A possible problem of priorities?

According to the subtitle of an article in today's Wall Street Journal,
Social Security and Labor Department Would Get New Funding to Review Disability and Jobless-Insurance Claims
. Over three thousand people are being hired to interview 188,000 recipients of disability payments. The total cost is $13.7 billion, and its expected to save the federal government $35 billion to find all these disability cheaters. As I keep reporting, state after state is cutting the valuable services needed to keep children with disabilities at home with their families and out of institutions. The civil rights of these children are being violated on a level unheard of in American history, by state paid officials. Who is going to do something about this problem? I'm all for saving government money, but the children need to be helped. Whose priority are they?

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About Me

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I'm the mom of a child with disabilities. Hannah's first neurologist said she might never develop beyond the level of a 2 month old infant, and there wasn't anything I could do about it. The brain damage was just too severe. Nine years later, she walks, uses a touchscreen computer and I've just been shown she can learn to construct sentences and do simple math with the right piece of technology. Along the way, I discovered I needed to teach myself what Hannah's rights to services really were. Learning about early intervention services led to reading about IDEA and then to EPSDT. I've been waiting for the Obama administration to realize the power and potential of EPSDT for the medical rights - including the right to stay at home with their families - of children with disabilities. The health reform people talk about long term care, and the disability people talk about education and employment, but nobody is talking about EPSDT. So I am.