Expansion of children's dental care stalls

Capital News Service
LANSING – Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2014 budget proposal to expand the Healthy Kids Dental program in West and Southeast Michigan has been blocked by House and Senate panels. West Michigan District Dental Society representative and Zeeland dentist Meredith Smedley said, “The hearts of the dentists in Ottawa County are breaking over the decision to reject the expansion.”
Snyder recommended $11.6 million to expand the program into Ottawa, Ingham and Washtenaw counties. The program now operates in 75 of Michigan’s 83 counties to provide care to Medicaid-eligible residents under age 21. According to the Michigan League for Public Policy, the expansion would lead to dental care for 50 percent of eligible children statewide next year. The governor also supports an expansion for 100,000 children in Kalamazoo, Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties in 2015.

Vets skip dental care, unaware of possible aid

Capital News Service
LANSING – Many veterans go without dental care because they are unaware of state and federal programs that provide assistance. Lack of awareness of emergency grants among veterans can also result in delayed treatment, said Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw Township, who is also a physician. “If you wait too long to get dental treatment, it can result in more serious health problems,” he said. The Michigan Dental Association, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund have launched a campaign to raise awareness about assistance programs that veterans may be unaware of. Thomas Kochheiser, director of public affairs at the association, said many veterans don’t access their benefits.