To the editor:
Governor Brownback’s initiative on managed care is causing concern in the disability community not so much because there is a fear that actual medical care may be managed in a different way — theoretically a more coordinated, wellness promoting way — but that the state’s request for proposals (seeking to turn over $2.8 billion in taxpayer dollars to a lucky three major insurance carriers, several of which are lined up on our Kansas borders like birds in a Hitchcock movie) presumes to include activities of daily living under the purview of the insurance companies.
As typical non-disabled users of the medical system, we go to the doctor when we are sick or to screen for stuff that might make us sick in the future. Under the governor’s plan, individuals with disabilities will have a for-profit medical insurance company “managing” every aspect of their daily life. In the disability services community we promote a functional self-determined model, not a medical model. The emphasis is on enhancing quality of life through promoting interpersonal relationships, autonomy, self-determination and enriching life experiences.
I can tell you that there are no insurance companies that have any clue what this nonmedical orientation to disability services looks like. It is ludicrous to include day and residential disability services in the governor’s managed care proposal.