Nonetheless, the debate over disability benefits for addicts and alcoholics was a healthy one. It got lawmakers, clinicians, and public health administrators to think about what it really means to be "disabled" by addiction, how similar addiction may be to brain diseases like schizophrenia, how accountable the addict is, and what society actually owes the addict and vice versa. A version of the debate took place last summer in New York City when Mayor Rudolph Giuliani told city-run methadone clinics that their welfare-supported patients should participate in work-fare. The clinics insisted that their patients were sick and incapable of work. But the idea that able-bodied addicts got free methadone plus a benefits check understandably rankled, and the mayor threatened to shut down the clinics.