California Children's Services Medical Therapy Program budget cuts

The Medical Therapy Program (MTP) is a special program within California Children's Services that provides physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT) and medical therapy conference (MTC) services for children who have handicapping conditions, generally due to neurological or musculoskeletal disorders.

Currently, children in California with one of these qualifying medical conditions qualify for services regardless of their financial status. 
Cerebral Palsy, Spina bifida, Muscular dystrophy, Rheumatoid arthritis, Spinal cord injuries, Arthrogryposis, Osteogenesis imperfecta, Head injuries. 
The California state budget proposes to align income eligibility requirements for Medical Therapy Program with the broader California Children's Services (CCS) Program. Currently, there is no financial test for eligibility. Under the proposed eligibility standards, families with annual income more than $40,000 or with annual CCS related medical expenses less than 20% of their annual income would not be eligible.

This means, a family with two working parents who make minimum wage make too much money and are no longer eligible for medial therapy services.  They would be responsible for finding these services and paying for these services for their children.  This is a huge financial burden for any family, especially families with children who have special needs.  A family with good medical insurance would still have to pay $200-500 per month on therapy.  And, the therapy sessions would have a maximum number of visits, which is usually around half of the time the child needs.  A family without medical coverage would likely not be able to afford services at all.

The Medical Therapy Program provides necessary physical and occupational therapy for children with medical conditions that effect their day to day life. 

My 3 year old daughter,Ruby, had a stroke in-utero and because of that has marked weakness of her entire right side.  Her physical therapist and occupational therapist have taught Ruby skills she would otherwise have never been able to do. Without these services  Ruby, would still not be able to walk and would likely not ever be able to do the necessary self care skills that are a normal part of life. 

Please join me and thousands of other families in California, and show our legislators that we can not cut services for special needs children and their families.

We the undersigned are in opposition to the proposed changes in eligibility requirements for the California Children's Services Medical Therapy program, section 123870 of the Health and Safety Code. 
The propostion to align income eligibility requirements for Medical Therapy Program with the broader California Children's Services (CCS) Program will remove services from children who desperately need them.  Under the proposed eligibility standards, families with annual income more than $40,000 or with annual CCS related medical expenses less than 20% of their annual income would no longer be eligible for services.  This means that a family with two working parents, even those who only make minimum wage, will no longer be eligible for services. 
The families who are fortunate enough to have health insurance will still be responsible for the costs of therapy which range from $200-$600 per month and many have a cap on the number of visit to the therapist.  Those without insurance will likely have to discontinue therapy services for their child. 
Without therapy services many of these children will have physical disabilities for the rest of their life. 
Please look for other ways to save money.  Taking necessary services from our children will only hurts us all in the long run. 
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.  We hope that you continue to provide the services to our special children so they can grow up and live happy healthy lives. 

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