Governor signs legislation creating Medicaid dental benefit

Governor signs legislation creating Medicaid dental benefit



>> GOVERNOR CHRIS SUNUNU SIGNED INTO LAW FRIDAY A DENTAL BENEFIT FOR ADULTS UNDER THE STATE’S MEDICAID PROGRAM. [APPLAUSE] AFTER YEARS OF DEBATE, THE LEGISLATION FINALLY PASSED WITH BIPARTISAN SUPPORT. >> THIS IS JUST A HUGE, HUGE DAY FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE AND A VERY BIG BIPARTISAN SOLUTION TO A PROBLEM WE’VE ALL LONG RECOGNIZED. >> A ROUGHLY $21 MILLION COMMITMENT FROM THE STATE BOOSTED BY FEDERAL FUNDING WILL GET THE PROGRAM UP AND RUNNING FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS, GIVING MORE THAN 100,000 MEDICAID RECIPIENTS ACCESS TO DENTAL CARE. >> OVERALL HEALTH IS REALLY WHERE WE’RE GOING TO SEE THE BIGGEST IMPACT. OUR GOAL IS TO KEEP PEOPLE OUT OF THE EMERGENCY ROOMS. >> PREVIOUSLY, MEDICAID ONLY COVERED EMERGENCY DENTAL CARE SO PATIENTS OFTEN WAITED UNTIL THEY HAD SEVERE PROBLEMS REQUIRING COSTLY TRIPS TO THE E.R. NOT ONLY IS THIS NEW BENEFIT EXPECTED TO REDUCE THOSE COSTS, BUT ADVOCATES SAY PREVENTATIVE ORAL CARE WILL IMPROVE OVERALL HEALTH AND HELP RECIPIENTS MAINTAIN EMPLOYMENT. THIS IS ALSO A WIN FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH DISABILITIES. NEWSNINE PROFILED CHLOE BERTRAND LAST YEAR. WHILE SHE CURRENTLY HAS DENTAL BENEFITS THROUGH HER FAMILY, THEY HAVE TO PLAN FOR A TIME WHEN SHE WON’T HAVE THAT HELP AND THEY’RE RELIEVED THE MEDICAID PLAN WILL BE THERE. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU? >> IT MEANS EVERYTHING TO ME. WE CAN SUPPORT WHAT SHE NEEDS NOW. I DAY WILL COME WHEN SHE WILL BE NEEDING THIS 100%. >> SENATE MAJORITY LEADER JEB BRADLEY IS HOPEFUL GETTING THIS LEGISLATION ACROSS THE FINISH LINE IS A POSITIVE INDICATOR FOR AN EVEN BIGGER HEALTH CARE VOTE NEXT YEAR. >> WE WERE ABLE TO GET IT DONE BECAUSE WE WORKED TOGETHER, AND I’M HOPEFUL FOR MEDICAID EXPANSION BEING REAUTHORIZED AGAIN NEXT YEAR. THIS IS A GOOD START ON THAT TOO.

Governor signs legislation creating Medicaid dental benefit

Supporters said the move is a win-win for public health and taxpayers over the long term.

Supporters said the move is a win-win for public health and taxpayers over the long term.

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