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Congratulations on a truly outstanding report. It should be required reading for all those who care about the future of San Diego County.

Sadly, to the more than 22,000 elderly, blind and disabled San Diegans who receive IHSS homecare services and those who care for them, your evidence of the continuing arrogance and disdain of the current Board of Supervisors toward our county’s most vulnerable citizens comes as no surprise.

The attitude of the supervisors toward IHSS has always been hostile. They have constantly complained that they cannot afford IHSS, despite the fact that the county is reimbursed by the state and federal governments for the cost of administering the program.

It took 18 months of struggle before the county finally agreed to give its IHSS homecare providers a wage increase of 25 cents an hour, bringing their pay to $9.50 an hour. At the same time, county animal care providers make $15 an hour or more.

Last year, without any evidence whatsoever to support her claim, Supervisor Dianne Jacob made the morally offensive and factually indefensible statement that 80 percent of all county IHSS recipients should not be on the rolls. She announced that the county would spend millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on a campaign to fight “massive” fraud in IHSS which has never been shown to exist.

Just recently, a San Diego provider told a state legislative committee how she and her client — a quadriplegic Vietnam vet — were threatened and humiliated by a fraud investigator. This apparently is not an isolated incident.

What the so-called “fiscally prudent” supervisors don’t seem to understand is that IHSS is cost-effective as well as humane. It will cost taxpayers at least five times more if IHSS recipients are forced to leave the program and go to nursing homes or emergency rooms to receive care.

We encourage the voiceofsandiego to continue to shine the spotlight on the supervisors’ scandalous treatment of the poor and sick in our county.

Laura Reyes is the President of the UDW Homecare Providers Union.

Doug Moore is the Executive Director of the UDW Homecare Providers Union

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