Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor:
Re: Commentary (Bob Blumenfield, Capitol Weekly, Aug 27)
“During the tortured state budget negotiations, many of my friends who voted against my bill were among the loudest voices in demanding aggressive anti-fraud measures in social service programs like In-Home Supportive Services. I don’t understand why they can’t muster the same fervor for going after big white-collar government contractors, and other firms that score lucrative government contracts, whose taxpayer rip-offs dwarf the meager amounts possibly scammed by a few near-minimum wage caregivers….”

Kudos to Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield for calling out these right-wing hypocrites.

Unfortunately, 32 of his Democratic Assembly colleagues were enablers in this case; they voted along with the right-wingers to treat hundreds of thousands of elderly, blind and disabled citizens and those who care for them like common criminals. At least they exempted amputees from the new requirement for fingerprinting of all IHSS recipients, although I’m surprised they didn’t require retinal scans for these unfortunates.

What’s especially sad about this is that the so-called IHSS fraud “epidemic” for which this legislation was supposedly crafted does not exist. Even the governor’s own quality assurance study estimated that the fraud rate in IHSS is only about 1 percent. Yet he, along with right-wing ideologues and ambitious district attorneys, spread the myth that the fraud rate is as high as 25 percent. And many Democrats in the legislature bought it hook, line and sinker.

Steve Mehlman,
Communications Director
UDW Homecare Providers

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