Thursday, September 24, 2015

California : Funding DD Services is Cheaper than the Alternative

This is from a post from the San Francisco Bay Area Autism Society blog dated 8/25/15. It is an open letter to California legislators from the parent of a special needs child, Cecily Ruttenberg.

For the sake of argument, let’s say you don’t give a hoot about the developmentally disabled. It’s a tragedy, you admit, but ultimately it should be the family’s responsibility to provide for their loved one just like everyone else provides for their kids. Fine. No judgment here (well maybe).

Setting morals aside, let’s talk money. The Lanterman Act is already law and requires housing and various services for the developmentally disabled from cradle to grave. From your perspective, the state has been more than generous providing all that is does, and you see no reason to keep adding to the pot of free money.

After listening to Bodi’s story, dear legislator, you will understand why you want to increase DDS funding, even if you feel no moral obligation. Why? Because it’s cheaper than the alternative. ….

Read more about the family’s odyssey through the California regional center and mental health system, with Bodi ending up in a year-long pilot program at the Sonoma Developmental Center. The state is in the planning stages of closing this facility.

The post concludes: 

What you need to know, Mr/Ms. Legislator, is that your failure to act has already cost the state some $650,000 for one client in one year. Guaranteed he will be checking back into Motel UCSF if he is not offered an appropriate placement after his term at Sonoma Developmental is up. And he’s not the only one. Act now or pay a hundred times over in Medi-Cal costs.

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