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Schwarzenegger Wants To Eliminate Home Care For 400,000 Elderly, Blind and Disabled Californians

"Outrageous" Proposal Would All But Destroy the IHSS Program

SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gov. Schwarzenegger today proposed catastrophic cuts in the In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program that would all but destroy the program, which provides home care for more than 420,000 low-income elderly, blind and disabled Californians.

Under the latest Schwarzenegger plan, some 380,000 individuals--nearly 90 percent of all IHSS consumers--would be thrown out of the program. This comes on top of an earlier proposal from the governor that would cut the pay for the state's home care providers back to minimum wage.

"While the governor's earlier proposals were foolish and shortsighted, his latest scheme is outrageous, vindictive and unconscionable," said Doug Moore, president of the 65,000 member UDW Homecare Providers Union.

"IHSS saves taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars each year by keeping some of our most vulnerable citizens out of nursing homes, which cost at least five times more than home care," Moore said. "It also brings millions in federal revenue to the state. Yet the governor would gut this cost-effective program, while continuing to fully fund more expensive nursing homes.

"We believe that all Californians should do their share to help the state through its financial problems. But Schwarzenegger and his Republican allies would put all of the burden on low-income, working Californians. They won't call on businesses to give up some of their tax breaks. They won't ask the oil companies to do their part by taxing the oil produced here in California, just like every other state in the union already does.

"It is time for the leaders of our state legislature to really lead. It is time for them to stand up to the governor and the Republicans and say 'enough.' It is time for realistic, common-sense solutions to our budget crisis that call on everyone to contribute."

UDW Homecare Providers Union represents more than 65,000 providers in 11 California counties. It is the only union in California made up solely of homecare workers.

    Steve Mehlman
    (916) 804-2569

SOURCE UDW Homecare Providers Union
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