Disability Support In Canada Free Writing Sample

Introduction

Disabled persons are among the most vulnerable groups in society. Depending on the disability type and severity, they might not be able to work or sustain their daily living. In developed societies, governments recognize the need to provide comprehensive support to disabled persons and establish policies targeting their needs. Canada has one of the best social welfare systems in the world, and there are various policies aimed at improving disabled persons’ quality of life and self-sufficiency. The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) is one such policy, and it has significant benefits for disabled individuals. The present paper will explore this policy and discuss its effect on women and on Canadian society.

Historical Overview

The Ontario Disability Support Program Act established the ODSP in 1997 in an effort to better fulfill the needs of disabled persons living in the province. The primary goal of the program was ” to provide a separate income and employment support program for eligible persons with disabilities, recognizing their unique needs” (“The evolution,” 2018, para. 3).

Hence, the program also distinguished between social services offered to the general population and those available for disabled individuals. The program positively impacts Canadian women and society by improving the self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities and allowing them to live independently. For women, this is particularly important since independence prevents them from becoming victims of financial abuse or neglect.

Target Population and Eligibility

The target population of the program includes disabled persons who require income support or employment support. The two branches of the program have different eligibility criteria and application procedures. To receive ODSP Employment support, the person must be 16 or older, be a resident of Ontario, be able to work legally in Canada and have “a substantial physical or mental disability that is expected to last a year or more, and makes it hard for you to find or keep a job” (“Applying for ODSP Employment Supports,” 2018, para. 1).

To receive income support, a person must be an 18-year-old or older Ontario resident who is in financial need and meets the program’s definition of disability or is a member of a Prescribed Class (“Eligibility for ODSP Income Support,” 2018). Hence, the populations served by the two branches of the program are different but may overlap often. Employment and income support are both available indefinitely as long as the criteria are fulfilled.

Ideological Foundations

The main ideology behind the program is that the government has a duty to its citizens to ensure that they can all enjoy a high quality of life regardless of their age, income level, gender, religion, race, or ability level. As part of fulfilling this duty, the government has to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable populations that typically require more support to live happily. Another essential idea behind the policy is that disabled persons have unique needs that cannot always be fulfilled by mainstream social services programs. The values of self-sufficiency and independence are crucial to the program since it focuses on allowing disables persons to live independently and care for themselves.

Analysis of the Policy

As evident from above, the stated intent of the policy is to provide disabled persons with the finances necessary for them to live independently of others, whether by supporting them in job searching and employment or by offering income support. Financial concerns are indeed pivotal to the target population since disabled persons face a number of barriers in employment, including their physical condition, discrimination by employers, occupational restrictions, and other issues.

The program helps to ensure that these barriers are addressed appropriately and that the person either finds employment or receives a stable income that is sufficient to cover their needs. It also helps to advance diverse populations, including women and racial minorities in society by improving their socioeconomic status and independence. Although the scope of the program and the benefits it offers match its goals, there is an opportunity for improvement.

To better fulfill the needs of disabled individuals, it would be best to offer one comprehensive service program for persons with disabilities that offers services based on the needs of the beneficiaries and includes social services, income support, employment support, and other independent living services. This would reduce the need for paperwork, making the program easier in terms of its structure and better suited to address all the various concerns of disabled persons.

Conclusion

On the whole, offering disability support is an essential duty of the government since it helps to protect vulnerable populations and allows them to live a fulfilling life. The ODSP is a Canadian disability support program that offers income and employment support. The program’s services are available to all disabled Ontario residents above the age of 16 or 18 who meet the conditions, and thus the program addresses the needs of diverse population groups, including women and ethnic minorities. The program fulfills its intended purpose adequately, but a more comprehensive approach would be better for the target population.

References

Applying for ODSP Employment Supports. (2018). Web.

Eligibility for ODSP Income Support. (2018). Web.

The evolution of government policy and legislation: The 1990s. (2018). Web.

The New Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule Rates

Introduction

At the beginning of October, a proposal to organize an effort within the Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings to repeal or amend the upcoming changes in Medicare clinical laboratory fee schedule rates was created. The proposal was approved by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David P. King shortly after it was presented to him. No additional funding for the project was required because all of the required actions could be completed in a short amount of time and utilizing the already existing resources.

However, the timetable for the project is also short and requires the participation of all the members of LabCorp, and especially medical professionals. Currently, the project is going according to the plan under the helm of David King. An early issue occurred after the initial proposal was approved but was soon resolved with no major effects.

Participating in the Effort

The effort consists of three major elements. The first is focused on informing the staff about the issue at hand through the information channels within the company. E-mails were sent to all the employees of LabCorp with the overview of the issue and what they can do to prevent it from having a negative effect on them and their patients. The issue of new Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule is likely to have a severe effect on the availability of lab tests to clinics and could result in large-scale layoffs to make the service more sustainable through downsizing.

The second step involves the participation of the employees in the effort to repeal or amend the new rates. To ensure that the information is correctly presented and delivered to its destination, an online service provided by the American Clinical Laboratory Association is recommended to all the employees of the company. Their goal is to fill in their personal information into the form provided by ACLA on its website, after which, it would be applied to special form letters and sent to the relevant state representatives that could possibly repeal the new rates or at the very least amend them based on factual information, rather than an unreliable research paper. The process of filling out the form should not take more than 15 minutes, after which the employees would be free to continue their work day.

The third step concerns the actions of the company’s legislative affairs person Samuel Eberts III. He will be tasked with contacting the Washington representatives on the issue to inform them further and evaluate the effect that the effort has on the problem.

Benefit to the Employees and the Corporation

The initial attention to the issue of the new Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule rates was brought by the American Clinical Laboratory Association on September 22, 2017. The association released a statement on the proposed PAMA Medicare Payment Rates for Clinical Laboratory Tests. The authors of the press release expressed a deep concern for the lack of accuracy in draft rates that were published under the PAMA.

The review of the draft rates revealed that they were not based on the realities of the market and would inflict severe cuts that were beyond the plan proposed by Congress. While no concrete data was presented, the extremely selective nature of the research paper suggests that the cuts proposed by it would only serve to inflict harm on laboratories across the nation (“ACLA Expresses Serious Concerns”).

Subsequently, on September 25, 2017, the chairman and CEO of LabCorp expressed his support of ACLA and presented additional data from the review of the draft rates. The issue of the rates was caused by the faulty process that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services followed during their research of the market. In fact, only 1% of all laboratories in the United States were chosen to report the data, with the majority being independent labs.

He estimated that the impact of the new draft rates could negatively affect Medicare beneficiaries, reduce the availability of lab tests, and prevent innovation in research and development (“LabCorp Objects to Proposed PAMA”). The proposed rates vary in the payment changes with some procedures becoming 751% more expensive, while others are reducing by 95% (Fig 1). This data is based on a very limited sample, and therefore the proposed changes would not reflect the way that the majority of laboratories operate.

Fragment of the new CLFS rates
Fig 1. Fragment of the new CLFS rates (“PAMA-Regulations”).

The proposed effort was designed to support the actions of ACLA in opposition to new rates which are scheduled to become active on January 1, 2018. While the David King stated that the company is prepared for the case in which these rates are implemented in their current form, around 10% of all LabCorp revenue is based on Medicare, with $9,5 billion in net revenue that the company recorded in 2016, it would lead to a decrease in almost a billion dollars of revenue for the company (Fig 2). If this effort succeeds, the company will benefit by continuing its current revenue flow, while the employees would not have to be laid off to make up for the loss and patients would have access to laboratory tests in a greater number of cases.

Estimated net revenue of LabCorp by year
Fig 2. Estimated net revenue of LabCorp by year (“LabCorp on the Forbes Growth Champions List”)

Problem Encountered During Implementation

During the first step of the implementation, an issue with the information system arose unexpectedly. While every employee of the company was used to receiving important information by E-mail, the system was not designed with a focus on the prolonged interaction of tens of thousands of employees on a single issue. This led to a crash of the internal E-mail server which could affect the timetable of the effort. However, a backup server was utilized to handle the load, and the issue was resolved without a significant loss of time. Alternatively, a secondary server could be purchased, but with the limited timetable of the task, it would be a costly and inefficient solution to the problem.

Timetable

  • October 10: All of the employees will be sent information about the problem, including links to the new rates and how they are likely to affect the company, and the industry as a whole. Underneath the information, a link to the ACLA information submission form will be present with instructions on how to fill it out.
  • October 10 – November 25: All of the U.S. employees of LabCorp will fill out the form which will be sent to the relevant state representatives in their area. While the new rates are not set to be implemented until 2018, it is essential that the form letters are sent out as soon as possible.
  • November 25 – January 30: The legislative affairs person of the company will contact the representatives in Washington on a weekly basis to monitor the process and evaluate the effect of the effort. The success will be measured by the way in which the new rates are changed before and after their possible implementation.

Conclusion

The effort is currently proceeding on schedule. I am glad that the project was approved in such a timely manner and hope that the effort will prove successful. The possible loss of a $1 billion makes this a serious issue.

Works Cited

ACLA Expresses Serious Concerns.” ACLA, 2017. Web.

LabCorp Objects to Proposed PAMA.BusinessWire, 2017. Web.

LabCorp on the Forbes Growth Champions List.Forbes, 2017. Web.

PAMA-Regulations.CMS. 2017. Web.

The Roman Constitution: Augustus And Polybius Comparison

Introduction

The significance of the Roman Constitution and the people’s role in it, together with the power executed by the Consul and the Senate, are discussed by Augustus in The Deeds of the Divine Augustus and Polybius in The Histories. The historical significance of both texts is in their somewhat similar approach to the understanding of power and its execution. It first may appear that Augustus and Polybius describe the people’s role in a similar fashion, emphasizing their direct role in lawmaking and war-waging.

However, a more in-depth analysis of both texts indicates that the people’s role might have been smaller than described. Was it true that people in the Roman Empire had a direct influence on lawmaking, questions of war and peace, and lived in a democracy? Although both Augustus and Polybius claimed that Roman people could directly affect the deeds of the Empire, in reality, its citizens could barely change the military plans of the authorities, control the contracts and obligations, or protest against decisions of higher authorities that they find unfair or unconstitutional.

The People and Military Plans

The influence of people on military campaigns was scarce. Augustus Caesar, the first Roman Emperor, described his accomplishments and deeds in the document Res Gestae, translated as The Deeds of the Divine Augustus (Augustus). When describing people’s role in the military, Augustus indicates that five hundred thousand citizens “were sworn to me” (Augustus). Describing their role, he does not mention whether they had any influence on the war plans; he only points out that while some of them return to the Empire, others were sent to colonies, and the majority of them received money for their service.

Polybius indicates that it is the people who “deliberate the question of peace and war” (Polybius 289). However, he also mentions that the Consuls have absolute power in administrating a military campaign. This statement is supported by Augustus, who writes “I often waged war, civil and foreign, on the earth and sea” (Augustus). There is no indication of whether the people of the Empire played a part in deciding how and why the war should start; Augustus describes them as faithful soldiers, who later proposed him to be their Consul (again) or even become a Dictator.

Contract Control

The people’s control over contracts heavily depended on the Senate. When describing the role of the Senate in financial transactions that were necessary for repairs of buildings or their construction, Polybius points out that depending on the case, the Senate can either give an extension of time to some of the transactions or even remove some of the obligations that the contractors have (290). According to Polybius, the Senate could also decide whether some of the contractors had to suffer from considerable hardships or, on the contrary, enjoy indulgencies (290). The process of coming to such decisions is not described, which obscures the clarity of the Senate’s decision to grant indulgences to some.

Another point that makes the financial transactions in the Empire doubtful and raises questions about the influence of money on the Senate’s decisions is Augustus’ notion that he helped the Senate with his money so that the military treasury could be founded (Augustus). While the role of the military treasury could be seen as democratic (it granted rewards to war veterans), the process of transactions between the Senate, the Consul, and the people remain unclear. Furthermore, Polybius also does not mention whether the Senate could impose hardships on the Consul, while it certainly could do so in terms of the Empire’s citizens.

The Right to Protest

While there are hints on the lack of the protest among the citizens of the Empire in Augustus’ text, Polybius’ texts give an explicit notion that protests against the Senate’s and the Consuls’ will be unfavorable. When describing his deeds, Augustus’ mostly indicates that his actions were met with support, and the people of the Empire even suggested he (alone) become a curator of laws (an honor he refused from) (Augustus). Polybius is more open about the people’s ability to protest: “…men do not rashly resist the wishes of the Consuls, because one and all may become subject to their absolute authority on a campaign.” (290). Thus, people could resist the decision of the Consul, but the consequences of such resistance could be regrettable.

It should also be noted that the Senate’s members also became judges in public and private trials, which is why citizens were “at its [the Senate] mercy” (Polybius 290). Thus, the people’s actual ability to protest was difficult to realize due to Consul’s authority in the military and the Senate’s role in finance. If the power of both sides was that big, it is difficult to imagine what an actual protest would cost the Empire’s citizens.

The Tribunes’ Role

It would be incorrect to believe that citizens of the Empire did not have any rights to protest, especially in lawmaking. According to Polybius, the Senate could not execute a penalty if it was not ratified by the Tribune (289). Furthermore, the Tribune also had the right to veto a law or a decree; if the veto was interposed, the Senate could not even hold meetings (formal and informal) because they were prohibited by the people will (Polybius 290).

The people’s rights are thus not non-existent but highly limited and depend heavily on the Senate’s and the Consul’s decisions. At the same time, as Polybius argues, the power of the Senate and the Consul in certain areas such as the military and finance exceeds significantly that of the people. This way, the system of checks and balances does exist, but the people’s power remains severely limited compared to the power of the other two sides. Moreover, Polybius’ argument that people are at the Senate’s (and Consul’s) mercy indicates that an explicit opposition to these forces can have a negative impact on citizens.

Conclusion

As can be seen from the analysis, the people in the Roman Empire had an insufficient influence on the questions of lawmaking, war, and finance. Even though Polybius argues the Constitution is a democratic one, the authority of the Senate the Consul is much more prominent compared to that of the Tribune (289). Similar notions about the people’s role in executing the power provided by Augustus and Polybius show that during that time the understanding of a democracy and people’s involvement in governmental affairs was remarkably different from the modern one.

The significance of the thesis is that it points out why it would be incorrect to label the Roman Empire as a democracy, although it is the term that the prominent citizens of that Empire used. Further study should focus on the role of power in the Empire, how it was executed, what limitations it had, and how it could be restricted by the Senate, the Consul, and the people.

Works Cited

Augustus. “The Deeds of the Divine Augustus.” The Internet Classics Archive, n.d. Web.

Polybius. The Histories. Oxford University Press, 2010.

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