July 28, 2017
Dear Oral Health Coalition Members:
After multiple false starts and failed attempts to agree on a plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Senate Republicans unveiled the Health Care Freedom Act, known as “skinny repeal,” late last night and held a vote for passage just hours later. The measure failed by a vote of 51-49 and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared that it is “time to move on.”
Thank you for your efforts to defeat these attempts to roll back the provisions of the ACA and gut the Medicaid program with the imposition of a cap on federal funding. We know you worked hard in your areas to provide education about the importance of these programs to creating access to oral health services.
Since 2000, the percentage of children nationally without dental coverage has been cut in half, with 89% of children benefitting from dental coverage as of 2014. New York can be justifiably proud that we have almost universal insurance coverage for children – 98% -- with both Medicaid and Child Health Plus providing comprehensive dental benefits. That achievement that was threatened as billions of dollars would have been drained from New York’s Medicaid program under the financing provisions in the House and Senate bills.
We know there will be additional challenges and defense work to be done. We will work to keep you updated as events unfold and make you aware of when you will be needed again to be a voice of oral health. In the meantime, you can continue to use these resources for additional information.
National organizations: Community Catalyst, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Families USA, Kaiser Family Foundation, Urban Institute
State organization: New York State Oral Health Coalition, Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, Health Care for All New York
For resources specific to oral health, you can visit the Children’s Dental Health Project’s Why Dental Coverage Matters toolkit. You can also follow their blog or our social media for more updates.
Don’t forget that the Coalition is on Twitter! Follow us @NYSOralHealth to stay up to date.
We look forward to the work ahead.