6.11.2009

Liana's Therapy is in Danger!

I was told by our physical therapist and occupational therapist this week that there is a proposed budget cut for NC that will look at PT, OT and speech therapy as unnecessary services. They want to cut this from the Medicaid budget which means private insurance companies will follow Medicaid. This affects Liana tremendously! She has had difficulty with her right arm and hand. Since receiving therapy she is able to sit up on her own, fully extend her arms during tummy time, make some attempts at crawling, and grasping objects with her right hand. She already has OT and PT and once she gets a little older is expected to have speech since the left side of her brain (the speech area) was affected by her bleed. She has come so far with having these services and if this is discontinued then it would be difficult for us to afford all of these ourselves. Not to mention a lot of people who get these services can't even afford a car, so having to pay for their child's therapy would mean their child would no longer receive help. 
The bill has to pass 3 committees and then Governor Perdue has to make the final sign off. It has already passed through 2 of those committees. I am asking if you have time to please contact your NC representative and either tell them about your personal story or use Liana's story. You can find your rep by going to the site and looking at the lower right corner to "who represents me." I know our rep is Beverly Earle for Mecklenburg County. You can also contact Governor Perdue (governor.office@nc.gov) since she is the last signature required.
I was also given these numbers:
Speaker Hackney 919-733-3451
Majority Leader Holliman 919-715-0873
Minority Leader Stam 919-733-2962

Thank you for any calls you make, any emails you send and any prayers you lift up. This is important for Liana, but it will also affect so many children that need these services to have any quality of life.

4 comments:

Karen said...

Ferris, I sent the following to the governor, and many others, for you guys: (I took alot of it from your post)This is an outrage!!
A friend was told by their physical therapist and occupational therapist this week that there is a proposed budget cut for NC that will look at PT, OT and speech therapy as unnecessary services. It was brought to her attention that they want to cut this from the Medicaid budget which means private insurance companies will follow Medicaid. This affects her daughter, Liana tremendously! She and her sister Adleigh, were born 3 months premature, last June. They have both survived and beat the odds that the DRs gave them when they were born. We all consider it a miracle from God! Liana has had difficulty with her right arm and hand. Since receiving therapy she is able to sit up on her own, fully extend her arms during tummy time, make some attempts at crawling, and grasping objects with her right hand. She already has had OT and PT. Once she gets a little older she is expected to have speech therapy as she had a brain bleed after she was born, on the left side of her brain (the speech area). Liana has come so far with having these services and if they are discontinued, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for my friend to afford these services themselves. There are many people who get these services who can't even afford a car, so having to pay for their child's therapy would mean their child would no longer receive help. Please consider this one, out of many I am sure, story in making your decision when voting on this bill. Thank you for your time and care.

Best regards,
Karen E. Luke
Charlotte, NC

Karen said...

Response from Rep. Tricia Cotham: We are working on a revenue package so that we can keep pt/ot/speech in the services of medicaid. If our revenue package passes, these things will be safe.

Lindsey Gallagher said...

Thsnks for the info, Ferris! There is so much going on in the world right now that just doesn't make sense when it comes to budgeting. I understand cuts have to be made and things reduced, but seriously...there are so many OTHER places to do this that wouldn't have tremendous impacts on the lives of people. I know the county, state and federal governments didn't ask for any of this mess, but they have to deal with it and need to learn to deal with it correctly. Here I thought I was "safe" in education and it's really down to the wire. I'm praying for you all and will do what I can to help you out!!

Eva said...

Ferris,

I did talk to my sister who is an OT and she said that these services from birth to age 3 appear to be safe! She has also written to her representative!