I am a small businessman from California, a retired Air Force Reserve member and a lifelong Republican. I am also a single dad and an In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) home care provider for my 29-year-old daughter Barbara. Our lives changed forever one dark night in 1996 when Barbara — then only 14 — was involved in a horrific accident caused by a drunk driver. While she survived, she had to have a portion of her brain removed. From that day on, she has been physically disabled and requires 24-hour constant care.
Fifteen years ago, my small business was booming. Today, I earn $10 an hour caring for my daughter. When I can find small jobs, I am able to earn some additional revenue to help pay the bills. I consider myself fortunate. For many caregivers, IHSS is their only source of income. Without these caregivers, thousands more people would be forced into nursing homes or other institutions. Since nursing home care costs at least five times more than IHSS home care, do the math! This program saves California taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Despite what opponents say, IHSS is a budget solution, not a budget problem.