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.