Poor dental health is associated with negative chronic health outcomes including heart disease, diabetes complications, and poor pregnancy outcomes. For a small state investment, SB 648 would provide dental benefits to 300,000+ adults who use Medicaid, improving health outcomes, reducing emergency room utilization, and increasing employability and work/school attendance. Thirty-five states provide dental benefits to this population, and it’s long past time for West Virginia to do the same.
Please contact your Senators – especially members of the Senate Finance Committee today and urge them to take up SB 648 to improve health outcomes in West Virginia. Call Chairman Craig Blair at 304-357-7867 and ask him to prioritize oral health for West Virginians by putting SB 648 on the agenda this week.
You may also mention:
- Offering dental benefits is a good investment. For approximately $8.8 million state dollars, we will get a $53 million federal match, which will reduce uncompensated care, support our dental professional workforce, and flow into our state’s economy.
- Poor oral health contributes to costly chronic health conditions.
- West Virginians without dental benefits often have no option but the emergency room for oral pain, where treatment costs 10 times as much as a dental clinic.
Thank you for speaking out on behalf of WV children and families.
Legislative Action Team for Children and Families
This message is brought to you by the WV Legislative Action Team for Children and Families, which includes over 20 of West Virginia’s leading non-profits and organizations working for children and families.