Disability, Health Care, and Public Policy

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ABSTRACT.Efforts to persuade policymakers to rely on data to plan health care services for people with a disability or a chronic illness must confront the fact that many competing definitions of disability are currently used. It is important to recognize that pressures for standardization as well as disputes over disability definitions take place in a broader social and political context. Despite the practical difficulties facing researchers and the highly charged atmosphere in which disagreements over definitions must be managed, researchers have made progress in developing policy-relevant data that underline the importance of the health needs of people with a disability.

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