Epilepsy Foundation

Epilepsy Foundation Reacts to Supreme Court Ruling - A victory for our community


WASHINGTON--The Epilepsy Foundation expresses support for the United States Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“This is a victory, not only for people with epilepsy, but also for millions of Americans living with chronic disease or disability who will now have access to health insurance due to this landmark law,” said Tony Coelho, President & CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation and author of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Coelho continued, “Too often pre-existing conditions and costs have left vulnerable Americans without needed care or in dire financial straits because of medical bills. The President and Congress saw this problem and corrected what amounted to discrimination based on health status. I view this as a building block of the rights guaranteed under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This is an equal rights victory for all.”

The Epilepsy Foundation has supported health care reform to increase access to insurance and meet the medical needs of individuals with epilepsy and other chronic conditions. We believe that health insurance must address the needs of individuals with chronic conditions and disabilities like epilepsy in order to achieve the goal of providing meaningful coverage. Lack of access to neurologists and to appropriate treatments makes a dramatic impact on the health, family and employment situation for individuals living with epilepsy and seizures. We support affordable access to specialists and to all necessary epilepsy treatments.

In upholding this law, the Court decision helps move implementation of the law forward. The ACA will help to improve the access to medical care and to appropriate treatments by eliminating pre-existing condition exclusions, working to address high costs, and prohibiting coverage limits. The Foundation supported the ACA as the elimination of discrimination in health insurance eligibility, renewal and pricing based on health status is vital to access for people with epilepsy. The ACA will improve access to quality health care for people with epilepsy who are uninsured or under-insured -- including access to insurance for children who age-out of their parents’ insurance and access to health insurance for young adults and others who may lose insurance when unemployed.

“We call on Congress and the States to move forward on these important reforms and avoid the politics of harmful repeal efforts,” stated Coelho.

The Epilepsy Foundation of America® is the national voluntary agency dedicated solely to the welfare of the almost 3 million people with epilepsy in the U.S. and their families. The organization works to ensure that people with seizures are able to participate in all life experiences; to improve how people with epilepsy are perceived, accepted and valued in society; and to promote research for a cure. In addition to programs conducted at the national level, epilepsy clients throughout the United States are served by 48 Epilepsy Foundation affiliates.

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Comment by Angela on August 20, 2012 at 2:09pm

Juan, Thanks for your comment. I have shared your personal post with the Jeanne Carpenter Legal Defense Fund.  Since you have an attorney, you may not have that need but they are the best point of contact for legal issues and workplace discrimination based on epilepsy.  You can learn more about the LDF here:  http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/resources/epilepsy/index.cfm

Comment by Juan Bogardus on August 20, 2012 at 2:02pm

I am glad the law continues to help please dont give up on us. Can you please help me with my situation.


Case Name: Bogardus v. Visa, Inc
Case Number:1:12-cv-21529-WJZ
Miami, Florida, August 20, 2012
Subject:  Alleged Discrimination in the Workplace against an employee with a disability
Juan Bogardus, an ex-employee from Visa International (Visa), is suing the company alleging that he was wrongfully terminated and discriminated against after he notified the company that he suffered from epilepsy, which is considered a serious medical condition and a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Mr. Bogardus, who suffered from epilepsy, worked as Service Support Specialist at the Visa Blue Lagoon facility in Miami Florida, which operates the company’s Latin American operations.  He claims that after he notified his supervisor and Human Resources about his condition, Visa immediately initiated a campaign of discrimination against him, which included bogus write-ups and his eventual termination, despite having a clean employment record.  The law suit also alleges that Visa failed to properly accommodate him when it was notified of his disability.
Epilepsy is a type of disability under the ADA.  Many people associate epilepsy with a person suffering a violent seizure.  However, there are many types of epilepsy and the symptoms vary from mild or intense headaches to the more aggressive type which includes seizures and the sufferer passing out for a long time.  These episodes can occur during stressful times.
Mr. Bogardus alleges that Visa was implementing a new complex software system and that he was worried about how the transition of learning the new software would affect his stress and the potential triggering of a seizure.  He consulted with his doctor which recommended notifying the employer so that he could be properly accommodated by being provided with additional time to learn tasks of the new system.  However, he claims that Visa’s management and Humans resources “freaked-out” about his condition and that the company did not offer any accommodations.  He claims that it seemed that the only concern was that the company was “worried” how a person suffering from epilepsy could damage Visa’s brand, image, security, and reputation.  He alleges that shortly thereafter he was purposely written-up so that he could be removed from his position.
Bogardus claims Visa violated the ADA and the Florida Civil Rights Act.  He claims he developed depression and emotional distress and felt that Visa treated him like a “sub-human” after learning of his disability.  He also claims his life with his minor child has been affected significantly.
Visa is a multi-billion dollar credit transactions company and a sponsor of the Special Olympics.  The company was recently in the news after the information from thousands of customers was allegedly compromised.  He is being represented by attorney Alex Funes.



Comment by Angela on June 29, 2012 at 4:07pm

Thanks Cassidy for sharing your story and the impact that the law has already had for you!

Comment by Cassidy Waggoner on June 28, 2012 at 7:18pm

Im one of those who am on Obama care - Have been for almost 2 years - and it has helped me get the care I needed right before my seizures went crazy again... LOL Its like they knew "Its ok she can see a doc now, lets act up again more" Its not free like many would believe, 200$ a month but still worth it

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