Pin It
Favorite

Q&A: Patrick Blum 

The advocate with Coeur d'Alene's Disability Action Center talks disabled access in Idaho and what will happen if the Supreme Court tosses Obamacare

click to enlarge Disability Action Center advocate Patrick Blum - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Disability Action Center advocate Patrick Blum

Patrick Blum, an advocate with the Disability Action Center in Coeur d’Alene, is no stranger to adversity. Blum, 44, suffers from Crohn’s disease and ankylosing spondylitis, a painful condition that makes his spine stiff and prone to injury. Blum spoke to The Inlander about the state of government help for the disabled.

INLANDER: Tell me about the Idaho Legislature’s cuts to disability aid in 2011 and how that has played out in 2012.

BLUM: They reduced adult psychosocial rehabilitation to four hours a week. [It was previously] depending on person to person, up to 12 hours. … Let’s say for clarity around 10 hours, they dropped it to four. You can imagine how much that would hurt. If you needed dental insurance through Medicaid, that was taken out because it costs a lot of money. So they took that out. That’s been put back in [during the 2012 legislative session]. Of course, it’s not as much as we all hoped for. There was also part of the bill that if you had double diagnosis [both physical and mental disabilities], you had to choose one or the other. You basically had to choose which disability was worse [when filing a claim]. Why would you … force somebody to choose between services?

If the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act (the health reform law), how will it impact people with disabilities?

When it was created, one of the main pieces of the legislation was that no one who has a pre-existing condition should be punished by not being allowed to have insurance. That’s a huge provision in the Affordable Care Act. There’s about 54 million people in this country who have a disability of some kind. That’s about one in five. Most of them have a pre-existing condition. Can you imagine if the law was struck down and they’d recently been able to gain insurance in the meantime? If the law is struck down, how many of them are going to get thrown off [insurance]?

Tags: ,

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • A Forever Home
  • A Forever Home

    On National Adoption Day, families become whole
    • Nov 25, 2014
  • It's Exploding
  • It's Exploding

    Why lawmakers and cops are worried about people blowing themselves up
    • Nov 25, 2014
  • GU Shake-Up
  • GU Shake-Up

    The woman overseeing reports of sexual assault at Gonzaga resigns; plus, a new study on Lakeland Village
    • Nov 25, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
2014 Festival of Fair Trade

2014 Festival of Fair Trade @ Community Building

Nov. 28-30

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Most Commented On

  • The Lives on the Bus

    Can the STA redesign the Plaza in a way that makes everyone happy?
    • Nov 12, 2014
  • Prisoners of War

    The war on drugs isn't over. Still in the feds' crosshairs: medical marijuana growers across eastern Washington
    • Oct 29, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation