Some people have treated entrepreneur Andrew Yang like a joke candidate – including, to some extent, Yang himself.
He has skateboarded and crowd-surfed on the campaign trail. He has Super Nintendo on his tour bus and celebrated the opening of his New Hampshire office by shooting whipped cream directly into a fan’s mouth.
Said the Associated Press: “Of all the many Democrats running for president, Andrew Yang is having the most fun.” Andrew Yang’s success, however, demands that Americans take him seriously as a candidate.
Unfortunately, he and his campaign make this task difficult, particularly when it comes to disability policy. Every single other major candidate has addressed the issue of care for disabled and elderly Americans.
And while no platform is perfect, most candidates have a basic understanding of the social safety net, or at least their advisers do. Except maybe Yang’s.
On Monday, Yang finally released his health care policy plan, with a section on people with disabilities. I read it. I also read his book, The War on Normal People, combed his website on details about disability programs, and asked his campaign for comment.
And as a disabled person who has relied on various social safety net programs in the past, I am still left confused as to how disability benefits would be affected by the centerpiece of Yang’s policies, universal basic income, or what he calls the Freedom Dividend. His health care policies for disabled people also raise more questions than answers.
How Yang’s Freedom Dividend affects disability benefits...
With the Freedom Dividend, the government would pay every American $1,000 per month, no strings attached. This is unlikely to ever make it through Congress.
But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that it did. Then what would happen to disability benefits?