When the HHS cuts were highlighted at long last, my thought was - "okay, now the law suits begin and they will prove more costly than the ALEC-proscribed 'cures'"
Well, the UK is a bit ahead of us in all this -- here's what to expect -- -LAW SUITS. LAW SUITS. LAW SUITS in all kinds of areas no one ever thought would come to pass.
Coping with the Cuts, 2011
Research published by think tank Demos exposes the impact that local budget cuts are having on disabled people and indicates that some councils are making cuts to disabled people’s services without knowledge of the number or needs of people in their area.
*snip*interviewing disabled families and their supportproviders in three local authorities we have found that disabledpeople often have to cope with the impact of multiple cutssimultaneously—the people we spoke to were experiencingincreases in service charges, restrictions or reductions indirect payments, and service closures all at the same time. Thecumulative effect on disabled families is that even cuts andchanges that seem evenly spread across services can convergeon individual families and have a disproportionately negativeeffect. This is rarely taken into account in (local or national)spending strategies and again underlines the importance ofrobust impact assessments based on ‘real’ data from thoseusing services.
It is worth remembering that the successful legalchallenge to changes to care eligibility and cuts inBirmingham were based on a lack of consultation with localservice users and an insufficient impact assessment.136Thepresiding judge said, ‘even in… straitened times the needfor clear, well-informed decision making when assessing theimpacts on less advantaged members of society is as great, ifnot greater’.137A more recent legal challenge by the NationalDeaf Children’s Society against Stoke on Trent City Councilis also based on the lack of a proper impact assessment of thecuts to deaf children’s services,138while at the time of writing,the Isle of Wight was awaiting a High Court decision as towhether a full judicial review should be undertaken regardingits decision to increase care eligibility.139A Community Care survey suggests, in fact, that legalchallenges to local authority care policies have increased by45 per cent this year.140Nonetheless, we did not carry out this analysis of local dataand mapping to name and shame local authorities or to fight thebudgetary cuts being made; instead we wanted to demonstratethat a budgetary reduction need not inevitably lead to frontline cuts,higher charges or poorer quality services. There areways—some innovative, some everyday and common-sense—tomitigate the impact of the cuts on the front line and protectdisabled people from a reduction or restriction of services.