Pin It

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

  • Cherry Pitfalls
  • Cherry Pitfalls

    Why fruit is rotting on trees while workers wait at the border
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • The Real Threats
  • The Real Threats

    What worries Spokane's sheriff; plus, Washington's lawmakers finally hash out a budget
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • Party of Five?
  • Party of Five?

    Why Spokane County's newest commissioner is leading the fight to add two more
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Riverfront Park Fourth of July Celebration

Riverfront Park Fourth of July Celebration @ Riverfront Park

Through July 5

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Joe O'Sullivan

  • R.I.P. Spokane
  • R.I.P. Spokane

    Exploring the Spokane of South Dakota — left for dead long ago
    • Jun 11, 2013
  • Beating On
  • Beating On

    Ska and new wave legends the English Beat land in Spokane
    • Mar 26, 2013
  • Green Water
  • Green Water

    Will Congress say yes to more hydropower?
    • Feb 27, 2013
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • The Rachel We Knew

    EDITOR'S NOTE: How Rachel Dolezal came to write for the Inlander
    • Jun 18, 2015
  • The Real Rachel Dolezal

    The story goes far beyond just a white woman portraying herself as black
    • Jun 17, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation