AzDA Logo

Browse Past Issues
  • 2017
    • September
      • - 9/19/2017
    • August
      • - 8/30/2017
      • - 8/2/2017
    • July
      • - 7/11/2017
    • June
      • - 6/20/2017
    • May
      • - 5/30/2017
      • - 5/1/2017
    • April
      • - 4/4/2017
    • March
      • - 3/20/2017
      • - 3/6/2017
    • February
      • - 2/20/2017
      • - 2/6/2017
    • January
      • - 1/23/2017
      • - 1/9/2017
  • 2016
    • December
      • - 12/26/2016
      • - 12/12/2016
    • November
      • - 11/28/2016
      • - 11/14/2016
    • October
      • - 10/31/2016
      • - 10/17/2016
      • - 10/4/2016
    • September
      • - 9/19/2016
      • - 9/8/2016
    • August
      • - 8/22/2016
      • - 8/8/2016
    • July
      • - 7/25/2016
      • - 7/12/2016
    • June
      • - 6/30/2016
      • - 6/16/2016
    • May
      • - 5/31/2016
      • - 5/23/2016
    • April
      • - 4/28/2016
      • - 4/21/2016
    • March
      • - 3/31/2016
      • - 3/17/2016
      • - 3/3/2016
    • February
      • - 2/18/2016
    • January
      • - 1/25/2016
      • - 1/7/2016
  • 2015
    • December
      • - 12/17/2015
    • November
      • - 11/26/2015
      • - 11/9/2015
    • October
      • - 10/15/2015
      • - 10/1/2015
    • September
      • - 9/17/2015
      • - 9/3/2015
    • August
      • - 8/20/2015
      • - 8/10/2015
    • July
      • - 7/23/2015
      • - 7/9/2015
      • - 7/2/2015
    • June
      • - 6/18/2015
      • - 6/4/2015
    • May
      • - 5/21/2015
      • - 5/7/2015
    • April
      • - 4/23/2015
      • - 4/9/2015
    • March
      • - 3/26/2015
      • - 3/12/2015
    • February
      • - 2/26/2015
      • - 2/12/2015
    • January
      • - 1/29/2015
      • - 1/1/2015
  • 2014
    • December
      • - 12/11/2014
    • November
      • - 11/26/2014
      • - 11/13/2014
    • October
      • - 10/30/2014
      • - 10/16/2014
      • - 10/2/2014
    • September
      • - 9/18/2014
      • - 9/4/2014
    • August
      • - 8/27/2014
      • - 8/21/2014
    • July
      • - 7/10/2014
    • June
      • - 6/26/2014
      • - 6/12/2014
    • May
      • - 5/29/2014
      • - 5/15/2014
      • - 5/1/2014
    • April
      • - 4/17/2014
      • - 4/3/2014
    • March
      • - 3/20/2014
      • - 3/6/2014
    • February
      • - 2/20/2014
      • - 2/6/2014
    • January
      • - 1/23/2014
      • - 1/9/2014

AzDA to Governor Ducey: ACA repeal should prioritize oral health


March 13, 2017

The Honorable Doug Ducey
Governor of Arizona
Executive Tower
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Dear Governor Ducey;

On behalf of the Arizona Dental Association and our 2,500 member dentists in Arizona, we request that you contact Congressional leaders in the U.S. House and Senate asking them to prioritize oral health as they consider legislation amending the Affordable Care Act.

Oral health is critical to overall health and well-being. Studies show that good oral health yields savings in future medical and dental costs, particularly among individuals with comorbidities such as diabetes and heart disease. Further, evidence shows that children with poor oral health are three times more likely to miss school than those who receive appropriate preventive care.

Time is of the essence. The House is currently in the process of marking up reform legislation that could have an impact the oral health of the citizens in your state, and the Senate will be considering it soon. We urge you to reach out and ask that Congressional leaders address the following issues of importance for ensuring good oral health in America.

With regard to Medicaid Reform, current proposals being considered are vague on the impact to dental benefits for Medicaid participants in our state. We ask that you urge Congress to:

• Assure comprehensive oral health services for children.
• As you know, your Executive budget proposes to restore adult emergency dental coverage under AHCCCS. We know that the lack of oral health coverage for adults drives patients to hospitals where the costly and ineffective treatment they receive leads to a cycle of antibiotic resistance and opioid dependence. Please encourage Congressional leaders to allow the use of any innovation funds in states that wish to expand coverage.
• Instruct the Secretary of HHS to provide guidance to state Medicaid providers regarding access to oral health services for beneficiaries.

As Congress gives our state more flexibility to set up its new state marketplace please ask them to consider:

Dental Plan Transparency
• Promote transparency of dental plans to support consumer awareness on (1) premium and benefits, (2) out-of-pocket costs, (3) network adequacy, and (4) participating health care professionals.
• Ensure consumer protection measures (e.g. effective appeal procedures) are required for dental benefit plans, as well as first-dollar coverage for preventive dental services.

Using Pre-Tax Dollars to Cover Expenses
• Expand the availability and flexibility of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs).
• Preserve the current tax exclusions for employer-provided medical and dental plans.
• Allow tax credits to be utilized in purchasing both medical and dental coverage.

If health reform legislation addresses these three areas, it will help promote good oral health and expanded dental coverage for citizens in Arizona. If you have any questions or require additional information, we are happy to provide it.

With all good wishes,

Sincerely,

Kevin B. Earle, MPH
Executive Director

Cc: Eric B. Curtis, DDS, President
Christina Corieri, Office of the Governor
John MacDonald, PolicyAZ