Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Op-Ed: Do Liberals Disdain People with Disabilities?

From today's Op-Ed page in The New York Times, by Harold A. Pollack, an adjunct fellow of the Century Foundation, is a professor of social service administration at the University of Chicago.

Earlier this month, I was hanging out with my brother-in-law Vincent. He lives with developmental disabilities caused by an unwanted genetic sequence that deprives his brain of a critical protein. We were sitting in our family room when Rick Santorum — whose 3-year-old daughter has a different chromosomal disorder — appeared on the television.
“One of the things that you don’t know about ObamaCare,” Mr. Santorum said, is that it requires “free prenatal testing ... Why? Because free prenatal testing ends up in more abortions and, therefore, less care that has to be done, because we cull the ranks of the disabled in our society.” Mr. Santorum’s comment echoed Sarah Palin’s famous charge during the health care reform debate: “My parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care.” 
There is no basis whatsoever for Mr. Santorum or Ms. Palin’s comments. Disability advocates across the political spectrum strongly supported the 2010 health care reform. They had obvious reasons to do so. The new law provides protections for people with preexisting conditions, regulations to make sure insurers properly cover care for chronic illnesses and expanded coverage for young adults and low-income families.

No comments:

Post a Comment