David Pettinicchio

David Pettinicchio is a sociologist at the University of Toronto and author of Politics of Empowerment: Disability Rights and the Cycle of American Policy Reform. This article was posted in conjunction with the Scholars Strategy Network.

Recent Articles

The Bipartisan Failure to Address Long-Term Home-Based Care for Disabled Americans

The debate over a public option must address the lifelong care needs of a group that currently relies on Medicaid programs to support independent living.

Republican and Democratic voters think health care is an important problem requiring action from government. While Republicans have made themselves the anti-Obamacare party, recent Democratic debates made more salient the tension between Democrats supporting some version of Medicare for All and those promoting alternatives typically involving both a private and public option. The problem with this trajectory is that they’re all ignoring a major issue that affects the public-option conversation: long-term care for people with disabilities. Take, for example, a 20-something person with cerebral palsy requiring a wheelchair to achieve independent mobility. It’s not Medicare that pays for that ramp or other improvements to make her home more accessible. Nor does Medicare pay for her attendants who help with daily living activities, including bathing, eating, and transporting her to work and school. Medicare can cover medical costs for Americans with permanent disabilities, but...