Among the casualties of Executive Order 2009-22 issued May 5 is the Medicaid adult dental benefit. Eliminating this benefit will put the health of many of the state’s most vulnerable residents at risk and is not the answer to balancing the budget. Not only will it end up costing the state, and ultimately taxpayers, more in the long run as restorative care is more costly than preventive care, it will further strain the fragile safety net by leaving those in pain with few places to go for care other than emergency rooms. Elimination of the Medicaid adult dental benefit back in October 2003 led to an 11% increase in Medicaid emergency room visits in the first six months following elimination, compared to the same six-month period in the previous year.
It is imperative that we ALL tell our State Legislators and the Governor how critical the Medicaid adult dental benefit is to many Michigan residents. Please contact your State Representative, State Senator, the Governor’s office, and the leadership in both chambers and urge them to support restoring the Medicaid adult dental benefit to protect health and save money.
MPCA has prepared talking points that you can use as you engage in discussions with your elected officials. In addition to addressing reinstatement of the Medicaid adult dental benefit, talking points are also included regarding protecting state funding of the State Loan Repayment Program and generating more revenue for the state so it can continue to invest in programs and services that support the health of its residents.