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California Lawmaker Wants More Dental Care Access for Seniors

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, March 8, 2012

If you're poor and older than 65 in California, you're probably not getting much dental care, unless it's an emergency.

That's been the case since 2009, when state budget writers cut most dental benefits for adults in the Medi-Cal system.

DR. PAN:"We tend to look at cuts in silos, and not recognize that just because we cut in one silo, doesn't mean that they don't then shift to another silo, and then the costs go up."

Assemblymember Dr. Pan says seniors may be suffering from more tooth loss, medical complications, and might also be going to emergency rooms.

DR. PAN: "The doctor sees them, they prescribe them antibiotics, painkillers they'll tamp down the disease. But it doesn't get at the root cause. And then they'll say 'You need to go see a dentist'. But they can't afford to."

Dr. Pan hopes comprehensive Denti-Cal benefits will be restored.

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