The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Friday, February 8, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Medicaid


Time to restore dental coverage

The Herald's editorial board was spot on when it supported the Medicaid expansion and pointed out the many benefits it would bring to low-income Snohomish County residents.
The Legislature has another opportunity with Medicaid expansion. If lawmakers restore dental coverage for currently eligible low-income adults, the federal government will cover 100 percent of the costs for new Medicaid enrollees.
Restoring dental coverage and including it in the services covered in the Medicaid Expansion will ensure that 780,000 low-income adults in our state have access to dental care.
As a dentist in Snohomish, I have seen firsthand the effect that dental disease can have on patients' overall health. Dental decay and periodontal disease are linked to heart disease, strokes and diabetes. Regular dental care helps people with diabetes control their blood sugar and avoid costly hospitalizations, which saves money for taxpayers. Without dental coverage diabetics on Medicaid cannot access critical dental services.
Restoring adult dental coverage this legislative session is necessary to capture the federal funding available for dental care as part of the Medicaid expansion. It is a wise decision that will leverage federal dollars, improve people's lives and make our health care system more effective.
Dr. Eve Rutherford
Snohomish
Board Chair, Washington Dental Service Foundation
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

Have your say

Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to letters@heraldnet.com, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at cmacpherson@heraldnet.com or 425-339-3472.