Employees of Tri-Therapy East, Inc. in Greenville met Friday afternoon to figure out a game plan, one they hope will stop North Carolina Lawmakers from making some huge Medicaid cuts.
Tri-Therapy owner Leslie Measamer says, “The 6% we can survive, these 80% talks that we keep hearing of we will not be able to survive and that could stop those services.”
Tri-Therapy is a small business that provides services for children with special needs like speech problems and also helps autistic children develop their behavioral skills.
“They are running and pointing to communicate and they can't tell their parents if they are hot, cold, tired. We go in and teach those kids signs and gestures and try and increase their verbal communication. Something we take for granted but is essential for them.”
Since many of Tri-Therapy's patients are on Medicaid, a lack in funding would decrease services, plus take a toll on the local economy. There are approximately 5,600 speech therapists in North Carolina right now, Tri-Therapy owners tell WITN those therapists and their tax dollars would go elsewhere.
So now, employees are trying to rally up support.
Measamer says, “This is a proposed budget, has not been approved, this is a chance to pick up the phone, call your representatives, call your legislators and speak for these children who can't speak for themselves.
The proposed health and human services budget is now being considered by a group known as “The Big Chairs” made up of seven house appropriations chairmen in Raleigh. Their contact information is listed below:
Alma.Adams@ncleg.net (Guilford) 1-919-733-5902
Martha.Alexander@ncleg.net (Mecklenburg) 1-919-733-5807
Jim.Crawford@ncleg.net (Granville/Vance) 1-919-733-5824
Phillip.Haire@ncleg.et (Haywood/Jackson/Macon/Swain) 1-919-715-3005
Maggie.Jeffus@ncleg (Guilford) 1-919-733-5191
Joe.Tolson@ncleg.net (Edgecombe/Wilson) 1-919-715-3024
Douglas.Yongue@ncleg.net (Hoke/Robeson/Scotland) 1-919-733-5821
WITN did try and get in contact with the seven listed above but was unable to get a hold of any of them.