Director of Money Follows the Person
Traffic stops are already dangerous and have proven deadly for black drivers, and when you add disability, your risk increases. My fear of a traffic stop is one that I have all the time. Not long ago, it came true on the DC Capital Beltway. I was driving down the beltway when I looked in my rearview mirror to see a state trooper following me. I knew at that point he would pull me over. When he did, my heart was beating because I immediately thought about our location and what he would do when I told him my wallet was in my wheelchair backpack. At first, he didn’t get out of the car, and he was talking through his car speaker. I couldn’t tell him I was in a wheelchair, and I couldn’t do what he asked, which was to get out of the car. I wasn’t speeding too much that required me to get out, so I didn’t understand why that was being requested.
by: Annie Carver, Esq.
“Health inequities are difference in health status or the distribution of health resources between different populations or groups arising from the social condition in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age.” There are many health inequities that are associated with disability – caused by stigma, discrimination, poverty, exclusion from education and employment, and other barriers within the healthcare system. One health inequity that is rarely named for people with disabilities is lost time, or the time cost associated with being disabled. There is a time cost associated with navigating welfare and healthcare systems, coordinating medical care, and managing personal care and symptoms. On top of that, public inaccessibility and legal barriers isolate disabled people from their greater community; therefore, disabled people often have to navigate the complicated coordination of their care without the support system that many non-disabled people enjoy. These time barriers also tend to disproportionately impact those with multiply marginalized identities, particularly people of color and queer people.
By Tracy Waller, Esq., MPH
“If it’s COVID, Paxlovid.” Or is it? Pfizer launched its most recent commercial for Paxlovid in February 2023 and has gone full throttle into its advertisement of the drug. Pfizer first received Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) for Paxlovid in December 2021 and then received a revised EUA in February 2023. The commercial touts the drug as a “miracle” drug of sorts. On November 6, 2022, the Office of Veterans Affairs released a study showing that Paxlovid can reduce the risk of symptoms of long COVID. Pfizer includes in its commercial for the drug, as required, that certain classes of people are excluded from taking Paxlovid based on negative drug interactions; however, the gravity of the number of people who are ineligible to take the drug is not readily apparent and leaves large swaths of the United States’ (“US”) and global populations without access to this life-saving drug. The lack of access to Paxlovid for the people most vulnerable to COVID-19- the elderly, people with disabilities, and other immunocompromised people – emphasizes the need for pharmaceutical companies to focus on developing treatment options that meet the needs of so many of those left behind.