April 10, 2017
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update


We begin this week with the second of our new editorial series on health care.  In it, we look at the cost of individual coverage and question whether healthcare is a fundamental right.

We have a couple of job opportunities in Salem for your consideration.  There are two news stories for your reading pleasure and our calendar section.

As always  happy reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
Editorial: Is It Healthcare A Fundamental Right?  

We, the people of the United States of America, have to answer a crucial question as a society.  Irrespective of cost, is quality affordable health care a fundamental right?  If the answer is yes, then we must stop punishing people who are not healthy or have a disability.

This week, as the White House and the Freedom Caucus of Congress put forward a proposal to bring back high risk pools as a mechanism for lowering premiums for the Republican ObamaCare replacement, this question of health care being a right and punishing us (people with disabilities) came into focus for me.  

High risk pools are not new.  Before the Affordable Care Act required insurers to cover anybody who wanted insurance, we had these pools to cover people who could not get individual coverage.  Unlike insurance through a group (like your employer) individual insurance looks solely at the health of the person applying for coverage.  Those who could not get insurance because of poor health, disability, chronic conditions or illness, such as cancer, had to rely on these pools operated by some states.

Take all of the unhealthy people out of the insurance market, what remains are young healthy individuals.  This means that the market consists of people who do not need as much care or expensive care.  So insurance companies can offer low cost policies.

By throwing everyone who is not young, healthy or disabled into their own pool, you have people who need or could need  very expensive plans that have lots of limits.  Most studies have found that high risk pools do not work.  They do not work because the premiums are not affordable and they don't cover what the person needs for coverage.

Two years ago, most people would have said that quality, affordable health care was not a fundamental right.  Now, I think attitudes have shifted. The ACA is growing in popularity.  A majority want to see the ACA tinkered with but not repealed.

More than a century ago, we as a nation, decided all children deserved a quality secondary education.  We did not ask the cost.  Instead, we asked what is the cost of not having an educated populace?  When a children need more help to learn, we do not charge them more.  So why do we do this with health care?

John Winske
Net News: The Secret Lobotomy of Rosemary Kennedy

This is well worn territory, but I found this to be an interesting mix of intriguing, horrifying and in someways redemptive story.  If nothing else, this story from Marie Claire reminds us that "treatment" is not always in the patients long term interest, but instead the needs of others.  You can find the story here.  
Net News:  Justice Department Blinding Itself to Injustice 

One of the goals of Attorney General Jeff Sessions is to scrap Justice Department consent decrees negotiated with various police departments over the past several years.  Most, if not all of the decrees, were negotiated by the Obama Administration on the heels of a racially tinged shooting.  Many of those individuals shot by police were also people with disabilities.   This editorial by Renee Graham appeared in the Boston Globe.
Employment Opportunities: ILCNSCA Two Openings

The Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann (ILCNSCA) has two current openings.

Position Title:  ADRCGNS Options Program and Peer Guide
Employment Classification:   Full-time Regular, non-exempt

Work Site: ILCNSCA and approved field sites

The Aging and Disability Resource Consortium of the Greater North Shore is a key entry point for older adults and persons with disabilities for information and assistance with community resources and access to publicly funded, community-based long term care.  The Options Program Peer Guide working at the ILCNSCA will play a central role in educating consumers who are considering facility-based long term care services about their community-based options.

General Statement of Duties:   The Options Program Peer Guide will educate older adults and persons with disabilities to understand the type and range of community-based long term care supports available to them.  The Options Program Peer Guide will also provide information and assistance with referrals for community-based long term care benefits as well as the comprehensive IL services when assigned.  The Options Program counseling services can be provided by phone, in the home of the consumer, in a hospital or skilled nursing facility.

Position Title:Independent Living Peer Guide and Options Counselor
Employment Classification : Full-time Regular, non-exempt

Work Site: ILCNSCA Office and throughout North Shore and Cape Ann, with meetings at facilities, hospitals, agencies, private homes and community settings, and at times throughout MA for assigned meetings

General Statement of Duties: Provide independent living direct services including Options Program services. Demonstrate professional conduct, and sustain technical proficiency in all work areas. Promote and preserve Independent Living philosophy and consumer control.

Full posting here.

For details, visit the ILCNSCA website career page at  http://www.ilcnsca.org/careers.php. Job postings are attached. If you have any questions, let me know.
Calendar: MASS Meeting

When:  Thursday, April 20, 2017, 6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.

Where:  Beaverbrook Step, 85 Main Street 2nd Floor, Watertown, MA  02472

Join Mass Advocates Standing Strong for our monthly meeting.

Any questions please email us at keithmilleradvocate@gmail.com 
Calendar: Disability Wrongs, Disability Rights

When:  Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 1:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Where:  SEIU at  26 West Street, Boston, MA

There's a lot we can do as a unified voice to hold onto and build on the gains of the disability rights movement.
  • Get a quick update on BCIL advocacy campaigns
  • Learn how to tell your story in a way that legislators and officials will listen to
  • Consider next steps to protect Ride service, protect MassHealth, build the PCA program, and support affordable housing.
We welcome veterans of the cause. We'd love to see people attending for the first time.

Equal access is a civil right!

Please RSVP here! Light lunch will be provided. Let us know if you need accommodations.

Shaya French, sfrench@bostoncil.org, 617-338-6665
Calendar: Senior Medicare Patrol Seventh Statewide Conference  

Engaging Consumers to Prevent Healthcare Errors, Fraud and Abuse

When Friday, April 28, 2017, 8:30 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Where: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston,  600 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA

To register or for more information go to www.masmp.org  or contact Caroline Cole at 978 946-1256 or at ccole@esmv.org.
Calendar:  Cocktail Reception DLC Honors

When:  Tuesday, May 2, 2017,  5:30 P.M. - 7:30 P.M.

Where:  Royal Sonesta Hotel, 40 Edwin H. Land Blvd., Cambridge, MA  02142

The Disability Law Center Honors

Frederick Wiseman
with the
Impact Award
Art that Changes Lives

50th Anniversary of Titicut Follies

Since 1967, Frederick Wiseman has directed 40 documentaries-dramatic, narrative films that seek to portray ordinary human experience in a wide variety of contemporary social institutions. His films include TITICUT FOLLIES, HIGH SCHOOL, WELFARE, JUVENILE COURT, BOXING GYM, LA DANSE, BALLET, CENTRAL PARK, BALLET, LA COMEDIE FRANCAISE, and CRAZY HORSE. He has directed a fiction film, THE LAST LETTER (2002). His films are distributed in theaters and broadcast on television in many countries.

For more information please visit  http://www.dlc-ma.org/fw/
Calendar: Boston Deaf and Hard of Hearing Assistive Technology Resource Fair

When: Wednesday May 3rd, 2017, 10:00 A.M. -2:00 P.M.

Where: Non Profit Center Community Room.
89 South Street, Boston, MA 02111

Vendors and advocates will be on hand to demonstrate and explain the latest devices and resources in the areas of Deafness & Hard of Hearing

This event is free and open to all!

Please RSVP and request accommodations by April 12. Contact Keri Chamberlain 617-226-2634 or kchamberlain@eastersealsma.org

MassMATCH is funded by the Administration for Community Living of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and managed by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.

MassMATCH Assistive Technology Regional Center-Boston operated by Easter Seals MA provides device demonstrations and loans of the latest equipment to the general public.
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