Our Stories

Cuts Hurt California

Carolyn Haines – Roseville, CA

My name is Carolyn Haines and I am an in-home care provider in Roseville, CA. I care for my 45-year-old daughter Candy, who endured a catastrophic accident at a very early age.

Medicaid funds California’s in-home care program called IHSS, which allows Candy to stay at home and receive the quality care she needs from

the people who know her best. After her accident, doctors told me to put her in an institution. I said no way, I knew she would get better care at home and with me, and I feared what would happen to her if she were put in a home.

Since her accident, Candy has needed so much hands-on care that I’m not sure she would be alive if it weren’t for the care she receives through IHSS. She cannot walk, bathe, feed, or dress herself. Every single task that a person has to do, I have to do for my daughter.

I had to stop working full time after Candy’s accident, but I needed to bring in income. IHSS has allowed me to earn money to support our family.

We’re relying on Medicaid for Candy and I fear what will happen if there are cuts to Medicaid and IHSS. I don’t know what would happen to us if the IHSS program went away. I couldn’t afford to live where we are. We’d be living on the streets.


Carolyn Haines is a constituent of Congressman Tom McClintock, who voted to repeal our health care and cut Medicaid by at least $880 billion dollars. 

 

Wanda Quinones – Bakersfield, CA

My name is Wanda Quinones and I live in Bakersfield, CA where I care for my adult son, Josue, who lives with cerebral palsy.

I chose home care for Josue because I wanted him to feel safe and comfortable. I bathe him, cut his hair, prepare his meals, take him to all his appointments and every other daily task. I just don’t feel comfortable leaving him with someone else. I’ve heard horror stories about institutions and care centers – I couldn’t risk doing that to my son.

Losing IHSS, the state’s home care program funded by Medicaid, would be emotionally devastating for our family – and it could also uproot our lives. Without the income I receive to care for Josue through IHSS, we may have to leave the U.S. and move to Puerto Rico. We wouldn’t have health care or a home care program there, but it would be easier to get by financially than staying here.

The possible cuts to Medicaid, IHSS, and Josue’s care are very scary. But I’m not giving up. I’ll never give up on my son.


Wanda Quinones is a constituent of Congressman David Valadao, who voted to repeal our health care and cut Medicaid by at least $880 billion dollars. 

 

Lidia Rodriguez – Turlock, CA

My name is Lidia Rodriguez, and I first became a home care provider when my teenage son was the victim of a violent crime 14 years ago.

A gunshot wound left him paralyzed and I needed to help him through both his physical and emotional pain. When people found out I was caring for my son through California’s Medicaid-funded home care program, IHSS, they came to me with more clients. Every day I see the positive impact in-home care has on all of my clients’ lives, and making my clients happy makes me happy.

I help my clients with cleaning, cooking, monitoring blood pressure and sugar levels, and so much more. And I do all of this while continuing to care for my son. One of my clients, Barbara, has Multiple Sclerosis. I do everything for her—I help her bathe, I make her bed, take out her garbage, cook for her, do laundry and all the usual chores. She takes a lot of strong medication for her MS and I have to be there for her because she slips. Under my care she is getting healthier and has even gained 23 pounds.

Cuts to Medicaid and IHSS would be devastating for Barbara—she told me that she would rather die than go to an institution and receive substandard care there. She is happier and healthier at home.

We need to protect IHSS for seniors and people with disabilities like Barbara and my son.


Lidia Rodriguez is a constituent of Congressman Jeff Denham, who voted to repeal our health care and cut Medicaid by at least $880 billion dollars. 

 

Gloria Orduna – Irvine, CA

My name is Gloria Orduna and I have been a caregiver through IHSS, California’s Medicaid-funded home care program, since 2008. I care for my mother.

My mother lives with many health conditions, including heart problems, high blood pressure, arthritis, asthma, and urinary incontinence. She’s experienced two strokes, pneumonia, blood clots, and congestive heart failure. She has also had a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted. As her caregiver I make sure she has everything she needs, and that she receives the vital in-home care that her conditions require.

What does IHSS mean for my family? It means help. It’s an extraordinary program for seniors and people with disabilities, and I was not aware it existed until a doctor referred my parents to it. Through IHSS, my mom gets the help and care she needs to survive.

If Medicaid is cut and we lose IHSS, it will be awful. Besides the hardship for so many in our state, losing the home care program will mean our country’s leadership is selfish and negligent in their actions toward their own fellow citizens. I hope that doesn’t happen. I hope the people in power will show that they value the lives of seniors and people with disabilities.

Please don’t cut Medicaid and IHSS.

Gloria Orduna is a constituent of Congresswoman Mimi Walters, who voted to repeal our health care and cut Medicaid by at least $880 billion dollars. 

Kesha Haynie – Magalia, CA

My name is Kesha Haynie and I live in Magalia, CA. I have been an in-home caregiver since 2008 and I currently care for my client, Mary, who is 87 and lives in Chico.

I have cared for Mary through California’s Medicaid-funded home care program, IHSS, for almost a year and a half. She’s more self-sufficient in her personal care than some of my clients have been, but she has severe spine problems and can’t bend over. She needs help around the house cleaning, doing laundry, changing the bed, and any activities that require bending, and I drive her car for her and do her shopping.

Prior to Mary, I had a client who lived with a brain injury. She couldn’t tell when she had to go to the bathroom and needed a caregiver like me to clean her up after her accidents.

Despite varied health issues and needs, IHSS is important to all my clients because it allows them to receive quality care in the comfort of their homes. And it is a support for their family members who are not able to provide the care themselves. Being an IHSS caregiver is a blessing for me because I can be of service to those who need extra care and help.

If something were to happen to IHSS, Mary would definitely struggle. She is on a fixed income and can’t afford private care. She may be forced to live without any care at all!

I want to say to legislators that are considering cutting Medicaid and IHSS: this could be you and your loved ones. What would you do if your care was cut?

Kesha Haynie’s client is a constituent of Congressman Doug LaMalfa, who voted to repeal our health care and cut Medicaid by at least $880 billion dollars. 

Angie Nguyen – Garden Grove, CA

My name is Angie Nguyen and I am an IHSS provider in Garden Grove, CA. I’ve worked as caregiver ever since my father got bone cancer in 2012 – I left my job in insurance to care for him until the day he died.

Now I care for three other senior family members: my mom, Anh, and my sister’s in-laws, Tong and Quy. My clients live with heart disease, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, glaucoma, lumbar spondylosis and more. For 100 hours a month, I prepare their meals, clean up after them, do their shopping, and give each client my personal care and attention.

I do it because I know how much more comfortable in-home care is than living in an institution. Most seniors don’t want to live alone in a nursing home – my mom has said she is afraid of being forced to do just that.

Many low-income people don’t have enough money to care for their parents or children with disabilities. If IHSS is cut, it is easy to imagine what could happen to Californians like my clients: no health insurance, no money, no access to the care they need. The most vulnerable, the people we are supposed to protect, could die.

We must protect home care for people who need it. Don’t cut Medicaid and IHSS.

Angie Nguyen is a constituent of Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who voted to repeal our health care and cut Medicaid by at least $880 billion dollars. 

Cheryl Sevier – El Cajon, CA

My name is Cheryl Sevier and I’m an in-home care provider in El Cajon, CA. I took care of my grandmother for the last five months of her life, and I’ve taken care of my current client, Betty, for nearly ten years.

Betty is developmentally disabled and has grand mal seizures. In most situations, I am her mom, brother, sister, daughter, granddaughter. She doesn’t have anyone else to look after her, and we consider each other family. She calls me ‘Mom’ even though she is 54 and I am 51.

IHSS is the Medicaid-funded home care program here In California. If there are cuts to Medicaid there will be cuts to our program. I’d have to cut grocery shopping and clothing shopping and Betty’s daily time out of the house. She needs to be outside or she gets depressed. She’s also a wanderer. She needs to be supervised. Cuts to IHSS wouldn’t be good for her safety.

I normally go to Betty’s house four days a week and sometimes on the weekends. But the last time IHSS was cut, I could only go to her house two days a week and she ended up going to the hospital two times while I wasn’t there.

Before I came along Betty was living in boarding care – now she’s living independently with my help. But I’m afraid of what will happen to Betty if IHSS gets cut again or goes away. Please don’t cut Medicaid or IHSS!


Cheryl Sevier is a constituent of Congressman Duncan Hunter, who voted to repeal our health care and cut Medicaid by at least $880 billion dollars. 

 

Christine Baur – Tehachapi, CA

My name is Christine Baur and I am a caregiver through California’s Medicaid-funded home care program, IHSS. I live in Tehachapi, CA with my 22-year-old daughter, Delaina.

When Delaina was in second grade, an undiagnosed tumor in her brain hemorrhaged and left her with brain damage. She can understand me, but she has behavior issues. Delaina can do basic math and write her name, but it’s hard for her to learn more. She’s also lost her ability to walk or feed herself.

There’s a lot of days when, because her immune system is compromised, she gets sick easily. Her schedule is very erratic. If I had a regular job while she went to her daycare program, I’d be out of a job because I never know when I have to pick her up, I never know what her day will be like. IHSS means that I can be home when she needs me and I can take her to her doctor’s appointments.

We live paycheck-to-paycheck, because I don’t make much as Delaina’s full-time home care provider. And if something were to happen to IHSS and I lost my job as her provider, I wouldn’t even qualify for unemployment. In the time it could take me to find a new job, we could lose our home, our car – everything. And I don’t know how I could continue to care for Delaina once I find work.

Making cuts to Medicaid and IHSS would be terrible. What options are left for people with disabilities?


Christine Baur is a constituent of Congressman Kevin McCarthy, who voted to repeal our health care and cut Medicaid by at least $880 billion dollars. 

 

Judy Perez – La Habra, CA

My name is Judy Perez and I am an in-home caregiver for my 32-year-old stepson, Stephen, in La Habra, CA. I have taken care of him since he was 11 years old.

Stephen has myotonic dystrophy, a disease that stretches your muscles out and doesn’t allow them to grow. Sadly, the disease killed his sister Roxanne in 2015 when it spread to her intestines.

Since I began caring for Stephen through IHSS, California’s Medicaid-funded home care program, I haven’t been able to do other work because he need constant care. I have to feed him, give him a bath, and generally do everything for him. I make him breakfast and lunch and take him to his program at the Regional Center. I wash his clothes and pick him up in the afternoon. I shave him and do all the typical hygiene stuff. He requires my supervision 24/7.

If Medicaid and IHSS get cut, we’d have a really difficult time emotionally and financially.

I’d have to work and there’s no way I could work and take care of Stephen. It’d be impossible. We would have to move somewhere else. His level of care would suffer. His life would not be like it is now.

My message to lawmakers? Don’t gut Medicaid because it puts IHSS at risk. It would create problems for us and for hundreds of thousands of IHSS providers and clients. I can’t even imagine how bad it could get.


Judy Perez is a constituent of Congressman Ed Royce, who voted to repeal our health care and cut Medicaid by at least $880 billion dollars. 

 

Willie Jean Bruce – Wildomar, CA

My name is Willie Jean Bruce. I’ve been a caregiver for my 51-year-old daughter, Lisa, since 2012. We live in Wildomar, CA.

Lisa lives with a genetic condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, otherwise known as Brittle Bone Disease. She has bone spurs in her feet and fractures in her legs, and had hip replacements in 2011 and 2012. Because her bones don’t heal well, it is a special procedure and it took us over a year to find a doctor to do it.

Lisa was able to go to school and college and to work for a long time. But I ended up taking early retirement because she was having a lot of medical issues. She had to have her esophagus opened up, eats special foods, and has asthma and respiratory problems because her chest cavity is small. She was immobile for a while.

I help Lisa bathe and eat. I massage her with special oils to keep her joints loose. I have to try and keep her toes and her fingers straight. I do general cleaning and most chores for her. I take her to the doctor and monitor her medications.

The care I provide keeps Lisa out of costly assisted living facilities, and IHSS—a state program funded by Medicaid—allows Lisa to live at home with me. She’s my child and no one will give her the attention I do. IHSS is a lifesaver, really. It allows Lisa to get the care she needs that she wouldn’t be able to afford on her own.

IHSS gives us peace of mind. I don’t know what we would do if Medicaid and IHSS are cut. Despite the constant pain Lisa is in, at least she has the comfort of her home.


Willie Jean Bruce is a constituent of Congressman Ken Calvert, who voted to repeal our health care and cut Medicaid by at least $880 billion dollars.