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Illinois House to Hold Appropriation Hearing on Improving Access to Dental Care for More Than 2 Million Children and Adults
Date:4/15/2008

Hundreds of Dentists Expected to Lobby Legislators on Three-Point Legislative Plan

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., April 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 220 dentists from across the State of Illinois are lobbying state legislators Wednesday to support a three-point legislative plan, which will improve access to dental care for thousands of working poor families.

Dentists from the Illinois State Dental Society (ISDS), Hispanic Dental Association, Lincoln Dental Society and other members of the Bridge to Healthy Smiles Coalition (http://www.BridgeToHealthySmiles.com) will meet with legislators at the State Capitol to educate them about the oral health care crisis that affects nearly two million working families in rural and urban Illinois. ISDS' annual lobby day is part of their 2008 Capital Conference.

Meanwhile, the Illinois House of Representatives Human Services Appropriations Committee will hear testimony from the ISDS about the importance of properly funding government sponsored dental coverage.

"We commend the Illinois House of Representatives for providing the forum to examine the funding shortfall, and for addressing the severity of this issue," said ISDS president, Keith W. Dickey, DDS. "We look forward to outlining the key issues, and providing viable and realistic solutions to improve dental access and coverage for Illinois families."

In Illinois 48 of 102 counties have been Federally designated as Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas because of limited or no access to dental care. Hundreds of thousands of working poor families who rely on programs such as Kidcare, All Kids, Family Care and Medicaid go without seeing a dentist, even when in pain. Because Illinois has among the lowest reimbursement rates in the nation, dentists who see public aid patients are forced to subsidize 54-percent of the procedure cost, making it unaffordable for the
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SOURCE Bridge to Healthy Smiles Coalition
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