Faith-based group wants dental included in Vermont Health Care Exchange
The Board of Directors of Vermont Interfaith Action is calling on the Green Mountain Care Board to include dental benefits for adults in the Vermont Health Care Exchange Plan.
“As more Vermonters have become unemployed or are working in low paying jobs where dental insurance is not offered, and as Medicaid further restricts the use of funds for adult dental care, it is more likely, not less, that more adult Vermonters will postpone preventive care,” Rev. Michael Brown, President of the VIA Board, wrote to the Green Mountain Care Board. “It seems unconscionable to talk about making health care ‘affordable’ by excluding those who can least afford to be excluded. We feel that the inclusion of dental benefits would be a great expression of justice in our state,” he said.
The VIA Board letter was supported by documentation taken from the State of Vermont’s own published reports, that shows that not including dental will end up costing Vermonters more for expensive medical complications that result from lack of oral health. “It is a false economy,” the letter said. “If we don’t have the funds for prevention through dental care now, how are we going to pay the higher future medical costs for complications that result?”
“It doesn’t make sense to ignore the well documented need for dental benefits to be included,” said Rabbi Joshua Chasan, a member of the VIA Board. “Inclusion of dental makes both fiscal and moral sense.”
The VIA Board’s call for inclusion of dental benefits follows on recent support for such benefits by Senator Bernie Sanders and others who find the absence of dental benefits in the proposed package to be more of the penny wise, pound foolishness of the existing system which has allowed health care expenses to skyrocket.
Vermont Interfaith Action is (VIA) is a faith-based, grassroots coalition of twelve congregations in central Vermont and Burlington that transforms ordinary people into empowered and engaged citizens. Our goal is to create the hope, power, knowledge, and political will needed to make compassion and social justice a reality for all Vermonters, and our mission is to create solutions to systemic issues that prevent our most vulnerable citizens from enjoying the quality of life God intends for us all.
Ssource: Vermont Interfaith Action September 7, 2012