Settlement Agreement –…


Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, Barrington, New Hampshire, noted that most residents of the Lakes Region of NH know, the town of Wolfeboro entered into a Settlement Agreement with the Justice Department over non compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 2010.  Many changes to the structure of sidewalks, wheelchair ramps, uneven pedestrian surfaces, parking spots, etc. had to be made within a specified period of time and at considerable taxpayer expense.

On first read, it sounds as though the way things ought to be, right?  Americans with disabilities should have wheelchair access to all public facilities, and so called “handicap (HC) parking spots” associated with both public and private commercial buildings and enterprises.  On second view however, the ADA legislation and this particular settlement agreement sickens me and should you too.  It represents a blatant overreach of the federal government in yet another area of our lives.  A federal government that should be serving us by providing defense of the public and collecting taxes to pay for it, is now reaching ever more deeply into our pockets to fund yet more costly endeavors.

Trust me, I have plenty of compassion for the truly disabled, note the emphasis on the word ‘truly.’  Having had a very long career in medicine, it amazes me how frequently patients who do not even come close to the definition of ‘disabled,’ are granted all the perks of disability, from steady monthly income to Medicare health insurance.  Then to add insult to our injury, these same frauds are afforded all the same benefits of the broad and invasive ADA.  If most of the frauds could be weeded out of the system, the need for HC parking spots could reduced by 75%, or more.  Fact is, most HC spots are taken by “disabled” who are not wheelchair bound, and do not even require canes.  They are capable of walking unassisted, but no, the federal government dictates they should have prime access to stores, city hall, DMV, golf courses, zip lines, ski lodges, national hiking parks, and the list goes on.  When evidence based medicine (yes that concept embraced by our beloved President) would support that the best thing patients with chronic health problems can do is exercise and stay otherwise fit, we provide them the shortest possible distance from car to building.

The justice department needs to stop with these abominable settlement agreements, and start rendering……justice!  Investigate the disability system and stop investigating our towns and villages that are struggling under the burden of runaway federal bureaucracy!  For more information see:


About Dr. Michael J. O'Connell, New Hampshire
Dr. Michael J. O'Connell of Barrington, New Hampshire, has forged a distinguished career spanning over three decades, as entrepreneur, physician, businessman, philanthropist and healthcare consultant. As former owner, administrator and CEO of a 225+ employee multi-specialty medical practice, Dr. O'Connell has dedicated his entire professional life to helping patients with family medicine and especially those experiencing chronic pain and all aspects of addiction. Since selling his family of healthcare businesses, he has never once contemplated retirement despite his rich and fulfilling journey, but instead has turned his focus to consulting in an industry starved for courage and creativity. Having weathered many political, technological and legal challenges, there is hardly a storm he has not confronted, a tempest he has not quelled, an urgent need he has not met. While the talking heads and self-proclaimed experts in the field have assumed the conventions and standards of the times, Dr. O'Connell does not believe in merely reflecting the herd mentality, but rather in leading the charge. Eschewing political correctness, Dr. O'Connell says and does what needs saying and doing, and not what the mindless masses expect. In addition to the continual education afforded by his variegated life experiences, Dr O'Connell earned his BS in Biochemistry at the University of NH in 1975, his Medical Degree from Dartmouth College in 1981, interned at Walter Reed Medical Center in 1982, Residency/Fellowship at UCSF in1986, and finished his Masters in Healthcare Administration at UNH in 1995. Dr. O’Connell enjoys many outdoor activities, including rock climbing, snowboarding, hiking, and golf. Through the decades Dr. O'Connell has supported many non-profit charities to include the St. Charles Home in Rochester NH, the Tri City VNA and Hospice, Hyder House, and Cocheco Valley Humane Society. To the latter organization alone Dr. O'Connell has donated over $180,000 and pledged another $250,000 in the “Bring-Us-Home” campaign for a new building. His “Matching Donations Christmas drive” has generated over $175,000 in charitable giving from the community. In addition Dr. O'Connell has participated in many dozens of other volunteer and donation efforts locally as well as in Africa and the Dominican Republic. For a listing of how I gave back to the community during my career and continue to do see:

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