Letters to the Editor

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BUDGET: Restoring dental coverage is win-win

Letter by Dr. Thomas J. Reynolds, Graham on May 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm with No Comments »
May 15, 2013 2:19 pm

Re: “Special session could drag on to the bitter end” (TNT, 5-12).

The state legislature has many tough decisions to make during its special session now underway. But some decisions should be easy from both a financial and a human impact perspective.

Fully restoring dental coverage for adults on Medicaid is one of those win-win decisions. When dental coverage was eliminated two years ago for adults on Medicaid, I worried about the consequences. As a dentist at Milgard Family Dental Clinic in Tacoma, I see this lack of coverage causing people to neglect preventive care, driving people to hospital emergency rooms with severe pain and health complications, and interfering with people’s ability to work.

The House and Senate have both included dental coverage in their budget proposals, although the House proposal neglects critical services such as fillings. With the likely expansion of Medicaid,
restoring adult dental care would bring our state federal funding and oral health relief for hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians.

Fully restoring adult dental coverage should be one decision the legislature can quickly agree on.

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