To balance the state budget, the state is ending its dental insurance for just over a half million disadvantaged individuals. While that may not seem like a great loss, a local dentist interviewed by News Ten says the long-term health care implications of that are not good.
Okemos dentist Dr. John Kalbfell reports recent studies show that persons who neglect their teeth can develop health problems and other more serious illnesses. He says the needy will have to get their dental care in emergency rooms, which are not equipped to do dental work.
The governor's office says some tough budget decisions had to be made and its unfortunate these services had to be sliced. In addition to the lost dental coverage, insurance will be shut off for chiropractic, podiatry and hearing aid services for the poor.