Costs, cuts and consequences: Charting a new course for working-age people with disabilities
(2011, September). Costs, cuts and consequences: Charting a new course for working-age people with disabilities. (Issue Brief Number 11-03). Washington, DC: Center for Studying Disability Policy.
A paper published today in Health Affairs and an accompanying issue brief - both prepared by experts at Mathematica Policy Research - show that in fiscal year 2008, the federal government spent $357 billion to assist working-age people with disabilities, representing 12 percent of all federal spending. The states provided an additional $71 billion, mostly in Medicaid payments. Despite this more than $428 billion in total spending, services provided to those with disabilities are often fragmented, confusing, and ultimately less effective than they could be. Mathematica's brief documents how the expenditures are spread across multiple agencies that oversee more than 60 different programs to help working-age people with disabilities.
The brief explains how, under the existing system based on programs created during the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations, the government largely serves a caretaker role. The authors point out that this model runs contrary to the current goal of "maximizing self-sufficiency" embraced by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and fails to direct funds in ways that have the most potential benefit to help those with disabilities join, remain in, or return to the U.S. workforce (abstract from: