Lawmaker Wants More Dental Care For California Seniors
Thursday, March 8, 2012
If you’re over 65 years old and poor in California, you probably aren’t seeing a dentist, unless it’s an emergency.
Special Feature KPBS Election Coverage
That’s something Democratic Assembly member Dr. Richard Pan hopes will change. At a hearing yesterday, he said he hoped for a reversal of a 2009 state budget decision to eliminate most dental benefits for adults in the Medi-Cal system. “One of the things we really need to look at is…is that has eliminating adult Denti-Cal really saved the state money, or has it simply shifted costs and now we’re paying more money on the Medi-Cal side to provide care to these seniors," said Pan.
Dr. Pan says untreated dental disease is linked to major medical problems such as diabetes and heart disease. He says current barriers to senior dental care may be leading to patient suffering and more emergency room visits.