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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: November 20, 2019 04:54 PM
From: Representative Sara Innamorato and Rep. Valerie S. Gaydos
To: All House members
Subject: Resolution Directing the Legislative Budget & Finance Committee to Conduct a Cost Benefit Analysis of the 2011 Cuts to Dental Services in Medicaid
Dental care is health care, not a luxury or a vanity, and we may have an opportunity to correct the human, social, and financial mistakes of prior administrations.

In 2011, the Department of Human Services (then the Department of Public Welfare) restricted dental coverage for those served by Medical Assistance to basic services and extractions. This act proposed to save the Commonwealth approximately $42 million annually.

Experts have pointed to multiple unintended consequences of the cut: an include an increase in costly Emergency Department spending for palliative dental care, fewer children seeking care as the adults in their lives are unable to establish dental care, decreased employability for lower-income adults, and lowered academic requirements for schools who train dental providers and rely on patients who are enrolled in Medicaid. These consequences have impacted every county of Pennsylvania, and it’s time to put a number on what dentists, patient advocates, and public health experts have already recorded.

This bill proposes that the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee conduct a study of the Commonwealth of PA’s cost savings and/or additional expenditures that resulted from the 2011 cuts. A cost/benefit analysis will ensure proper fiscal management of DHS resources and the feasibility of reinstating the full benefits to decrease costs and increase overall health of our residents.

Please join us in cosponsoring this importation resolution.

Introduced as HR799