I’ve got to confess: The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics helps me get through the work day when it publishes its monthly reports on employment statistics for people with disabilities.
The truth is that, except when insureds get into arguments with carriers about whether their fibromyalgia is real, and except when the Federal Reserve Board uses low low rates to rob Insurer Peter to pay Banker Paul, disability insurance seems to work pretty well.
It’s a little bit hard to come up with hot new stories about disability insurance, because a lot of possible candidates involve boring he said-she debates about pain, or another illustration of the dire effects of low rates, or another survey about how workers and employers pay less attention to the risk of income loss than they really should.
Meanwhile, it seems as if, these days, at least since insurers put the individual disability policy problems behind them in the 1990s, most of the carriers in the individual or group disability markets seem to stay in the markets and do reasonably well, or very well, in those markets.
When I’m scrounging for disability story ideas, the thought of writing about some group’s plea for the government to do some harmless nice thing related to disability or disability insurance can be very attractive.
The federal government already conducts so many surveys, publishes so many reports, operates so many information clearinghouses, and organizes so many public education campaigns. Maybe it could ask a few more interesting questions of interest to disability insurers, publish an interesting disability report, or convene some interesting educational disability conference.
You have to be really, really far to the right to think that, when the government publishes a disability statistic, that’s a socialist plot.
Even a lot of people who would say they’re ardently pro-free-market might say that the government has a role in promoting market transparency, and that gathering and publishing statistics can help it create the information infrastructure needed to support free private markets.
Maybe simply providing a credible unemployment figure for adult workers with disabilities can somehow spur private employers and other private groups to make life easier for workers with disabilities.