Legislators stand up for oral health: Dental insurance is health insurance

The House Ways & Means budget calls for cuts to MassHealth adult dental benefits that would eliminate restorative services for the 700,000 adults on MassHealth.

This proposal to cut crucial oral health services for adults on MassHealth will lead to needless pain and suffering at a time when many people are most vulnerable. Additionally, below-poverty individuals and families will lose dental benefits through Commonwealth Care.

Although $56 million dollars of services will be eliminated by these cuts, the state will save at most only $11 million. Approximately $35 million in matching federal dollars will be lost, and the state will spend a large portion of the remaining savings on people forced to use emergency rooms for problems caused by untreated dental problems.

On Wednesday the Oral Health Advocacy Taskforce began calling and visiting their representatives to urge them to sign on to Representative Scibak’s Amendment to preserve adult dental benefits. In the past 48 hours, the team has secured thirty co-sponsors! This early support for the amendment means stronger support when it is debated in two weeks. This list includes Representatives Balser, Basile, Brownsberger, Coakley-Rivera, D’Amico, Dwyer, Ehrlich, Fagan, Fallon, Finegold, Forry, Garballey, Grant, Gregoire, Kafka, Khan, Madden, Michlewitz, O’Day, Peake, Pedone, Pignatelli, Provost, Puppolo, Richardson, Sannicandro, Scaccia, Smizik, Tobin, and Walsh.

(If your legislator is on this list, call and thank him or her; if your Rep is not on the list, please call and ask him or her to support the amendment)

These legislators have demonstrated that we cannot move backward by cutting fundamental services- adult MassHealth dental benefits must be protected.

For more information, contact Courtney Chelo at cchelo@hcfama.org or 617-275-2935.
-Christine Keeves

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4 Responses to Legislators stand up for oral health: Dental insurance is health insurance

  1. Charles parker says:

    For those of us keeping track of who and what; the Mass-health Dental issue is a highly volatile and a critical voting issue. For any legislator to be so shortsighted as to cut vital and important dental benefits for those in need; using the flimsiest and shortsighted math, I believe there will be consequences. Manny of us do keep track and our votes will reflect that.

  2. Paul says:

    Call 1-617-722-2990 or
    1-617-722-2380

    to encourage Rep. Charles A. Murphy to include the Scibak Ammendment in the budget.
    It’s in your own best interests to do so…..

  3. Harold says:

    HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS
    Room 237
    State House
    Boston, MA 02133

    Telephone: (617) 722-2380

  4. Paul says:

    You can also call Representative Charles A. Murphy, the Budget writer Massachusetts House.

    His phone: 1-617-722-2990

    Email: Rep.CharlesMurphy@hwm.state.ma.us

    Web: http://www.mass.gov/legis/member/cam1.htm

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