For at least the last four years attorneys who represent Social Security disability claimants have been asking each other why there has been little news media coverage of the human costs of the unprecedented backlogs of Social Security disability claims and the general harshness in adjudicating these claims. Large numbers of people are dying while waiting for action on their claims. Many disability claims are wrongly denied, particularly claims based upon mental illness. After all, smaller backlogs and less harsh policies had received extensive media coverage in years past. Why not now?
My theory on why there has been so little coverage is that the think tanks and advocacy groups based in D.C. who ought to be initiating the media coverage were instead squelching it because they were afraid that a Democratic president would be blamed even though the fault, at least for the backlogs, clearly lies with the Republicans in Congress who have failed to give the Social Security Administration an adequate appropriation.
If my theory is correct, expect lots of media attention next year to the backlogs. We could have used the attention to these problems over the last four years.