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Government Roles and Disability - Opinions and Information

  • Published: 2009-08-24 (Revised/Updated 2014-11-28) : Author: Disabled World : Contact: Disabled World
  • Synopsis: The United States Government has some specific roles it plays in the lives of persons with disabilities.

Quote: "The hope I have for the future and interactions with my government include a more constructive and positive view of people with disabilities."

Main Document

There are government organizations in place to work with people with disabilities such as the Social Security Administration, USA Jobs, the Medicare program, and more.

There are government organizations in place to work with people with disabilities such as the Social Security Administration, USA Jobs, the Medicare program, and more. One trip to the website should provide you with a good idea of the government's involvement with people with disabilities in America.

The Veterans Administration is another way that the United States Government is involved in the lives of people with disabilities in America. Service members who experience disability and receive disability coverage through the VA find the Veterans Administration involved in their lives, meaning that the United States Government is. The VA provides certain levels of services to military personnel and veterans on the same levels that the government provides services to people in civilian life.

To what degree should we find ourselves involved with our government? As a person who is involved with the government on both of the levels mentioned above, I have found myself asking this question more often lately. As a person who is not only a disabled veteran, but who is also on SSDI, I find myself having to interact with the United States Government more often than I would care for, personally. The Social Security Administration wants regular reports concerning any monies that I may earn, despite the fact that they are keeping me in poverty through strict limitations on earnings. The VA will cover some health care, but not other forms of treatment. Then there is the item I stumbled across yesterday.

During the George W. Bush years an, 'item,' was produced for the Veterans Administration concerning end of life decisions. The publication was so poorly produced that the Bush Administration decided not to use it. President Obama has brought that publication back into circulation. Veterans could now find themselves being presented with what amounts to a, 'hurry up and die, you are a burden,' publication. As far as I am concerned, the United States Government has over-stepped its bounds of interaction with me as a person with disabilities.

The publication is an offense to me as a person, to be plain. I am neither a burden to my family, or to others. The trouble this is causing in my mind is that the current administration in office, running our nation, seems to be of the view that anyone with serious health conditions is a burden. The government seems to be of the opinion that anyone with a serious health condition needs end-of-life counseling.

When I interact with my government, it is with the assumption that my government is there to serve me. I should not have to live in fear that my government wants to see me leave life as soon as possible because I am perceived as being a burden on society, my family, or others. The role of the United States Government is to promote the interests of every citizen in this nation; am I not a citizen

Recently, President Obama signed the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities . Both the publication by the Veterans Administration as well as any items in what I find to be an immensely confusing health care reform bill that suggest I am somehow unworthy of participation in American society and should pursue end-of-life counseling fly right in the face of everything in the Convention that President Obama has just signed before the world. Questions are arising in my mind regarding the validity of health care reform, as well as the intentions of the administration in office because of perspectives such as pursuit of end-of-life counseling and people with disabilities.

With so many exceptional government programs and organizations in place, it troubles me as well that this turn in the policies towards people with disabilities has occurred. A focus on health care for everyone in the nation cannot occur if one perspective of the government is to promote the demise of an exceptionally large portion of the population - people with disabilities and veterans. There is a clearer understanding in my mind now of exactly why President Obama has dropped notions of pursuing the Community Choice Act.

The hope I have for the future and interactions with my government include a more constructive and positive view of people with disabilities. As people with disabilities age, we deserve the same health care and rights as anyone else in America. We do not need a government that tells us to pursue, or suggests that we pursue, end-of-life counseling - that is why we have counselors and religious personnel. We do not need publications that tell us we are a burden on society, our family, or others. We most certainly do not need a government that presents a health care reform bill that is so unintelligible that no one can understand exactly what it includes.

We do need a United States Government that promotes our health and well-being. We do need a government that is there for us when we need the government, and is not there when we do not need them. We need a government that does not play, 'Mother knows best,' during the most difficult times of our lives. When times get tough and we do need our government to be there, we will let the government know. We do not need the United States Government being proactive where certain matters are concerned. Some things, such as end-of-life matters, are not the realm of the government.

Disability culture is, has been, and always will be about independence, and independent living. These things are not possible with, 'big government,' sticking its collective nose into our every affair. End-of-life matters are one area where the government needs to stick to its own business and out of ours.

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