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Sunday, December 15, 2019

Yang on Disability

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the issue's role in presidential campaigns.

From Democratic candidate Andrew Yang:
Today, 1 in 4 adults has a disability in the U.S., but 1 in 3 people with a disability do not have access to a primary healthcare provider and has unmet healthcare needs due to high costs. People with disabilities are much more likely to experience secondary complications that exacerbate their medical conditions and often need fast access to hospitals and treatment. Under the current system, these people disproportionately lack the access that they need because of high unemployment and homelessness rates, and higher rates of poverty. Additionally, there are issues with accessibility, both at healthcare provider locations and in transportation.

13.3 million children in the U.S. live with special healthcare needs. As the father of a son with autism, I understand the hardships millions of other American families face everyday. Children with disabilities need a wide range of medical and long-term services and support that our current healthcare system does not prioritize. Either not all medical services are covered, or they are only available in limited amounts through private insurance.

47% of children with disabilities are covered by Medicaid or CHIP, another 49% are dependent on private insurance, and the remaining 4% have no insurance at all. That is 4% too many. Early detection, intervention, and on-going support is critical for parents of children with disabilities to understand and meet their child’s needs. Our healthcare system should ensure all families have access to necessary experts and resources that equally uplift our children.

We need to ensure that all people, including children and persons with disabilities, have equal access to the healthcare they need. Outside of ensuring Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance at all healthcare providers and covering transportation costs, technologies such as telehealth will provide new and more convenient ways for persons with disabilities to access preventative care in a format of their choice and at an affordable cost.