he following is taken from introductory comments made by Morgan & Weisbrod Attorney Paul Burkhalter, who is one of two Board of Director Members from the Fifth Circuit (Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi) of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) at the Fifth Circuit Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (FOSCCR) annual meeting held in Natchez, Mississippi on January 28th and 29th, 2011.
“Texas is number one in the nation! Mississippi is number two! And, sorry, Louisiana is number three! Unfortunately, these are our states’ rankings in the percentage of our citizens that are uninsured (according to a recent report released by the Census Bureau). In Texas, almost 27% of the population does not have health insurance (according to another study by the Gallup poll). In Mississippi, the same study shows that almost 26% of the states’ population does not have health insurance. In Louisiana, 24% of the population lacks health insurance!
As an attorney representing Social Security Disability claimants, I observe first hand that a significant percentage of Social Security claimants have chronic conditions that with adequate treatment might not be disabling, but without care become disabling – like insulin dependent diabetes. It is unfortunate that the lack of the ability to obtain care results in individuals who want to work becoming unable to work, yet that is how it is – especially in States like ours that don’t do a good job of providing access to insurance and health care.
Yet, by representing individuals and helping them obtain disability benefits, we also help them obtain Medicare and/or Medicaid federal government health care – a type of health care insurance that finally allows them to get regular health treatment for their conditions. My hope is that with this regular care many of our clients may be able to return to work – once their conditions are treated and get under control.
Also, since we represent many clients without insurance who need health care, at Morgan & Weisbrod we help our clients try and find indigent health care programs that will help them obtain basic treatment without cost or at very loss cost due to their lack of income. As attorneys we have a duty to help our clients find care – and through this action – helping clients obtain Social Security benefits and get Medicaid/Medicare – or by helping them find care while they wait to have their claims decided – we are making a difference.”
Source: Austin American Statesman, January 23, 2011 “PolitiFact Texas – Data support columnist’s claim about the uninsured” Section B, pp. 1,5.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.