Uncategorized

For want of a dentist

The budget adjustments proposed by Gov. Perdue this year are a good place to start, especially if the legislature refuses to raise revenues. That doesn’t mean the cuts are painless.

One of the most difficult is the big hit to Medicaid dental services. Here’s the line item:

5. Coverage for Emergency Adult Dental Care This recommendation limits adult dental coverage to emergency care only. With this policy change, covered services will include emergency exams; diagnostic x-rays; urgent care extractions; biopsies; excision of tumors; repair of soft tissue wounds; treatment of fractures; and a portion of adjunctive services, such as general anesthesia and IV sedation, hospital calls, and therapeutic drug administration.

The importance of dental care is easy to overlook. But this kind of budget reduction always reminds me of twelve-year-old Deamonte Driver, the Virginia boy who died in 2007 because he lacked access to a dentist. Driver’s abscessed tooth led to an infection that spread to his brain.

To be fair, Gov. Perdue’s budget preserves emergency services. But dental care for the poor is tenuous in our state, and this reduction will not put us on a more promising path.

4 Comments


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by NC Justice Center, lindsay scott, Get White Teeth, zack_hawkins, michael perry and others. michael perry said: For want of a dentist: One of the most difficult is the big hit to Medicaid dental services. Here's the line item:… http://bit.ly/aT6VjT […]

  2. […] more here: The Progressive Pulse – For want of a dentist AKPC_IDS += "2115,"; Share and […]

  3. […] here to see the original: The Progressive Pulse – For want of a dentist Bookmark It Hide Sites $$('div.d37796').each( function(e) { […]

  4. Jeff

    April 28, 2010 at 8:16 am

    “…especially if the legislature refuses to raise revenues.”

    Can’t squeeze blood from a turnip and the greens are best eaten with vinegar.

Check Also

Context is key for understanding Insurance Commissioner’s Affordable Care Act comments

Many people were surprised to see a story ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

A pivotal legislative task force may be just beginning its dive into North Carolina’s school funding [...]

The controversy over “Silent Sam,” the Confederate monument on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus, has been ra [...]

North Carolina tries to mine its swine and deal with a poop problem that keeps piling up A blanket o [...]

This story is part of "Peak Pig," an examination of the hog industry co-published with Env [...]

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a jaw-dropping civil rights lawsuit again [...]

Will Burr and Tillis really vote for this? For much of the 20th Century, one of the labels that Amer [...]

President Trump and Congressional Republicans aim to rebrand enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest ho [...]

20—number of years since a bipartisan coalition in Congress passed the Children’s Health Insurance P [...]

Spotlight on Journalism

We invite you to join a special celebration of investigative journalism! The evening will feature Mike Rezendes, a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe Spotlight Team known for their coverage of the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Tickets available NOW!

Spotlight On Journalism

This event will benefit NC Policy Watch, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. Sponsorship opportunities available now!

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more