Susana Saldana – Merced, CA

My name is Susana Saldana. I live in Merced, CA and I care for my 30-year-old son, Mario, who lives with cerebral palsy.

26 years ago, I quit my job at a printing company to care full-time for my son. Mario needs to be supervised at all times and requires assistance with daily activities such as grooming, preparing meals, laundry, driving him to him to doctors’ appointments.

California’s Medicaid-funded home care program, IHSS, allows me to care for my son so he can live at home with dignity. In a group home, he’d only see four walls. But here at home we take him out and he can enjoy life. To me, these programs have been a lifesaver.

Cuts to Medicaid and IHSS would hurt my son. It would make it harder to pay our bills and put food in the refrigerator. I’d have to find another job and I wouldn’t be here for him. I wouldn’t be able to pay my mortgage, and we could end up homeless. Physically, mentally and financially; it would affect our whole lives.

I go to Sacramento to talk to legislators every time I can to tell them that we need to protect Obamacare, Medicaid and IHSS. I never regularly went to the doctor until Obamacare because I couldn’t afford it. Cutting these programs would affect people – you’re going to be sick and you won’t be able to go to the doctor.

I’m very concerned about the future. It feels like they don’t care for people with disabilities and seniors. It’s scary.

Susana Saldana is a constituent of Congressman Jim Costa, who voted to protect our health care and Medicaid.