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.
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Problems to be Solved
- People with disabilities are not getting the healthcare they need.
- High costs and lack of insurance coverage prevent access to essential medical treatment and medical equipment.
- Lack of enforcement of the ADA in hospitals and public transit leaves many people with disabilities in the margins of the healthcare system.
- Families who have children with disabilities lack sufficient support.
Comprehensive care is not just a moral imperative—it makes economic sense. A robust healthcare system where everyone, including people with disabilities, has accessible and affordable coverage will build a healthier population and reduce our expenditure on long-term medical costs.
- Cover essential preventative care service for people with disabilities
- Increase access to healthcare for people with disabilities through telehealth
- Ensure that hospitals and public transit are compliant with the ADA
- Provide effective early intervention and resources for families with children with disabilities
As President, I will...
- Ensure that hospitals are ADA compliant.
- Make healthcare more accessible to people with disabilities through telehealth, while also ensuring public transit to facilities is accessible and covered by insurance.
- Ensure healthcare covers preventative care services for people with disabilities like assistive mobility devices, hearing aids, adequate catheters, and sufficient physical therapy visits to prevent further secondary conditions.
- Ensure that all families have access to experts and resources for early detection, intervention, and care for children with disabilities.