|Oral Health for the Most Vulnerable:Support LD 624
Contact Your Representatives Today!
LD 624 (Resolve, to Implement Certain Recommendations of the Governor's Task Force on Expanding Access to Oral Health Care for Maine People) needs the support of everyone who cares about access to oral health for those at greatest risk. The bill, which was the top recommendation of the Governor's Oral Health Task Force, seeks a modest increase in MaineCare rates for a limited set of dental procedures. The scope and cost of the bill has already been pared back considerably in recognition of the fiscal crisis, but it still faces an uphill battle at the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee.
Use these Talking Points when you call or write these members:
The consequences of inadequate MaineCare reimbursement are these:
- The survival of "Safety Net" Dental Clinics is at stake-
the mission of a "safety net" clinic is to serve the most vulnerable, but to survive they are being forced to rely on more private pay and regular insurance patients to stay solvent, which means fewer MaineCare patients are treated.
- Most MaineCare recipients are children.
- Clinics in Ellsworth, Bangor, Portland, Lewiston, Millinocket, Waterville, and all the other "Public Health" dental clinics are skating on the edge of insolvency because of low MaineCare payments.
- Low reimbursement rates keep new dentists, who struggle with huge loan repayments, from moving to Maine, and make it difficult for dentists who are here to accept MaineCare.
- Increased Emergency Department use is a direct consequence of lack of access to preventive care and treatment. ED care is hugely expensive to MaineCare, alleviates symptoms only, and doesn't treat the underlying disease.
LD 624 increases MaineCare rates for a limited set of dental services that:
- Give the biggest help to the patient.
- Help "Safety Net Clinics" the most.
- Will attract more dentists into the MaineCare system.
Every Mainer should receive the care necessary to promote good oral health. Most dental diseases are preventable, and early dental treatment has proven to be cost effective.
- Preventive care and early detection and treatment save $4 billion annually in the United States.
- Children who receive preventive dental care early in life have lifetime dental costs that are 40 percent lower than children who do not receive this care.
- The cost of providing preventive dental treatment is estimated to be 10 times less costly than managing symptoms of dental disease in a hospital emergency room.
Oral health matters, and your voice counts, act now.
Members of Appropriations and Financial Affairs
Senator Bill Diamond
Senator Richard W. Rosen
Home Tel: 469-3779 Bus: 469-3306
State House E-Mail: RepJohn.Martin@legislature.maine.gov
Representative David Webster (D-Freeport)
Home 784-3259 Home E-Mail: email@example.com
Representative Elizabeth S. Miller
Home 549-7171 Business 622-2085
State House E-Mail: RepSawin.Millett@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Robert W. Nutting
Home 465-7139 Home E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Patrick S. A. Flood
Home 395-4915 Business 395-4915
You may also leave a message for your representative at : State House Message Phone: (800) 423-2900
Senate Message Phone (800)423-6900