TO: LWV members and friends:
One of the League's key policy positions is ensuring that access to basic health care is provided to all Delawareans. A group that is denied such access for treatment of their dental needs is adults who receive their medical care via funding from the Medicaid Program (funded jointly by the state and the federal government).
Senator Bryan Townsend has introduced SB 92, which adds such coverage to the Medicaid Program. The League can be a significant force in making this a reality - if we all let the members of the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) know of its importance. Indeed, the JFC starts its work on May 21 to prepare the 2019-20 budget proposal.
Please contact those state legislators who serve on this crucial committee. (See list below, which can be clicked to get to their home page where their email address is shown.) If you are represented by one of these individuals, it is especially important to contact them. But we can all make our views known to them. Contact one or contact them all!!!
A write-up is attached (click here) that provides key reasons why this measure needs our support. In addition, see below for details about research found after the attached was prepared showing the financial advantages of covering dental services.
§ Jeffcoat study on periodontal therapy: The study looked at health and dental insurance records from nearly 339,000 people served by insurance companies in Pennsylvania, all of whom had periodontal disease and one of five conditions: type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease (usually a stroke), rheumatoid arthritis, or pregnancy. Researchers found that people with four of the five conditions (all except rheumatoid arthritis) who had at least one periodontal disease treatment had lower medical costs and fewer hospitalizations within four years of the treatment compared with people who weren’t treated. The savings were especially striking — 74% lower — among pregnant women. The savings came from avoiding the costs associated with premature births, which has been linked to periodontal disease, and other complications. People with cardiovascular disease and diabetes who had their periodontitis treated had health-care costs that were between 20% and 40% lower.
Here are the names of the Joint Finance Committee members:
Chair: Quinton Johnson
Co-Chair: Harris B. McDowell