Federal budgetary costs of blindness.

Y. P. Chiang, L. J. Bassi, J. C. Javitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Federal expenditures for blindness-related disability among Americans are examined. The government, rather than the private sector, frequently bears the economic consequences of visual disability through entitlement and public assistance programs. Findings suggest an average $11,896 federal cost of a person-year of blindness for a working-aged American, which includes income assistance programs (SSDI/SSI), health insurance programs (Medicare/Medicaid), and tax losses resulting from reduced potential earnings. Almost 97 percent of the aggregate annual federal costs of blindness in 1990, which totaled approximately $4 billion, is accounted for by working-aged adults, who represent less than one-third of the total blind population. Approximately 25 percent of all blindness is attributed to preventable causes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-340
Number of pages22
JournalMilbank Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Nursing(all)
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)


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