<b>Proverb of unknown origin:<\/b>\r\n<i><b>"If you think you are too small to make a difference,\r\nyou haven't been in bed with a mosquito."\u00a0<\/b><\/i>\r\n<h2>And what does disability have to do with mosquitoes?<\/h2>\r\n<img style="float: right;" src="https:\/\/opedge.com\/Content\/OldArticles\/images\/2003-02_13\/Kaphingst,-Wieland.jpg" hspace="4" vspace="4" \/>\r\n\r\nAccording to the World Health Organization (WHO),\r\nabout 10 percent of any population has some kind of physical\r\ndisability.\r\n\r\nThus, it is no problem to calculate how many people are\r\nafflicted in your neighborhood, in your town, state, countryor the\r\nentire world.\r\n\r\nHowever, governments worldwide show an increasing trend to\r\nneglect the needs of this quite impressive and important percentage\r\nof their populationthe people they supposedly take care of, the\r\npeople who vote in elections.\r\n\r\nJust recently I read that one of the US states is the first to\r\nconsider cutting orthotic and prosthetic services in its Medicaid\r\nprogram.\r\n\r\nIf you deal with health insurers on a daily basisas most of us\r\ndoyou have learned that cutting services to this specific\r\npopulation down to the bare bones has been one of their most\r\nprevalent cost-cutting practices over the last few decades.\r\n\r\nEmployers try to keep orthotic and prosthetic coverage out of\r\ntheir group insurance plans, or don't even consider it, regarding\r\nit as too expensive. In the end there may be nobody there to cover\r\nthese and related expenses.\r\n\r\nWho is taking effective action about this?\r\n\r\nEveryone thinks he or she is too small to make a difference.\r\nThose who do try, find out that they are not taken seriously.\r\nEither they are suspected of doing this for their own purpose and\r\nprofits as providers or manufacturers and their organizations, or\r\nthey do it for a "humanitarian purpose" which cynics doubt, since\r\nthis seems to be a most ridiculous thing to do. To them, only\r\ndreamers believe in the relevance of humanitarian values in a world\r\ndriven by economic values.\r\n\r\nLet's face it: Credibility is not on our side.\r\n\r\nLet's be honest too: sure we need to make a profitjust as\r\nanybody else does. But was that your reason for getting into this\r\nfield in the first place? Aren't there any better venues, if\r\nprofit-making is goal number one? What about going into the\r\ninsurance business instead?\r\n<h2>Let's Be Mosquitoes<\/h2>\r\n<img style="float: right;" src="https:\/\/opedge.com\/Content\/OldArticles\/images\/2003-02_13\/Misqito-insect-12.jpg" hspace="4" vspace="4" \/>\r\n\r\nBut what about those inflicted by disability? What\r\nabout the disabled population themselves?\r\n\r\nAs with the mosquito, power is in the masses only. It is easy to\r\nkill one or even ten of them. But have you ever been in one of the\r\nwetland nature parks during mosquito season?\r\n\r\nHow would a government react if thousands of amputees would\r\nmarch toward its capital, prostheses off, walking on crutches,\r\nletting the rest of the world see what a residual limb actually\r\nlooks like and acts like when not "covered" by a prosthesis? The\r\nmedia would have a frenzy in covering that event!\r\n\r\nHow would that government feel if those limbless persons make\r\nsure the rest of the world learns that their government has just\r\ncut the cost of supplying them with adequate prosthetic care?\r\n\r\nWouldn't it feel like 10,000 mosquito bites-or worse?\r\n\r\nLet's be mosquitoes! Let's also help those who already are\r\nmosquitoes know that they have the power of the masses. Let's\r\ndevelop strategies to multiply their existing power.\r\n\r\nLet them have proper education on what the\r\ntechnological\/clinical choices of good prosthetic\/orthotic care can\r\ndo for them today. Keeping them uneducated is a tactic of those who\r\ndeny their responsibilitiesonly we can change that.\r\n\r\nLet them know about their rights under existing law and let them\r\nknow how they can make sure that these rights are provided to them\r\nin their full extent. And let them know what they can do to change\r\nflaws in the law according to their needs.\r\n\r\nAren't we lucky we live in a democracy and have the freedom and\r\ndemocratic obligation to do just that?\r\n\r\nThis is what WE can do: Form a group to support the mosquitoes.\r\nMake sure they know about their power. Be one of them. Let's join\r\nthe mosquitoes!