Colorado Dental Association reverses Medicaid program defunding

The Colorado Dental Association persuaded legislators to reverse their decision to cut the state's adult Medicaid benefits the same day the program's defunding was announced, according to ADA News.

The benefits in question were established in 2013 by a state Senate bill that allowed for limited dental benefits under Medicaid for patients age 21 and older. When they were cut on the morning of May 20, the benefits covered up to $1,500 of dental care per year.

After learning of the benefits' termination, the CDA immediately reached out to legislators. While in talks, the CDA made sure to recognize that policymakers were under immense pressure to make budget cuts, but argued that the entire benefits program could not be axed because it provided many Coloradans with care they could not afford otherwise and would be difficult to bring back.

The state Senate joint budget committee's final recommendation cut some funding from the benefits program, but it was saved.

"This is a whole population who never had any treatment. It has changed their lives," Jeff Kahl, DDS, who led CDA's efforts to rescue the program, told ADA News.

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