American Disabilities Act: Law of Unintended Consequences

By Varney and Co

So far this year we have seen massive legislation passed to reform health care and finance, leading some to question whether this will be good for Americans. Twenty years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed to help disabled Americans. It was supposed to help employ more disabled Americans but the opposite happened. John Stossel, Host of "Stossel" on FOX Business, joined Varney & Co. this morning to share his thoughts.

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"It's 20 years later. This is a law that was voted for overwhelmingly by Republicans and Democrats," said Stossel. "Everyone said this will help disabled people get jobs so they looked at the percentages of disabled people working before the law and it was 59%. After the law, it's 48%."

The American Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and requires businesses to provide "equal access" and "reasonable accommodation." As a result, some businesses are "scared" to hire disabled Americans.

"Making a protected class makes those people threats to lawyers. They're a lawsuit bomb. You're afraid," said Stossel. "Most of the suits come when you fire someone. If you hire a disabled person you may never be able to fire that person."

This is an example of a law with good intentions gone wrong. Did those who voted for the ADA think it would hurt disabled Americans? Probably not, but it is the law of unintended consequences.