[to top of second column]
That doesn't surprise disability experts: Patients often lose their jobs, and caregiving needs can cost a spouse a job, too, ending employer insurance. Treatment, including the physical therapy that can improve independence and sometimes movement, is costly. There are income limits to qualify for Medicaid, and cash-strapped states are limiting coverage.
The Reeve foundation plans to use the findings to push for health policy changes, including ending a federal requirement that disabled workers wait 24 months before getting health care through Medicare. Also on its target list: insurance policies that forbid $400 air cushions for wheelchairs until someone's already suffered a skin ulcer that can require a $75,000 hospital stay.
Florida's Brown knows he's lucky, able to pursue a lucrative public relations career and be a mentor to other spinal-cord patients despite being mostly paralyzed from the chest down. Before his injury, he had a private insurance policy that lasted until recently. Now, he said, "I'm paying out of pocket like you wouldn't believe," and worries about how his wife and two young sons will cope if he worsens enough that he has to quit working.
"I thought I was bigger than the chair. I finally realized the chair is bigger than me," Brown said.
On the Net:
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation:
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
< Recent articles
Back to top
News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Calendar | Letters to the Editor