California Dental Association President John Blake, DDS, issued the following statement on the 2023-24 budget proposal released by Gov. Gavin Newsom today:
“We applaud Gov. Newsom for protecting recent investments in oral health access and equity for the state’s most vulnerable populations. While the change in the state’s budget situation will require some adjustments and caution, the enormous progress in this area over the past five years must not be jeopardized.
The restoration of Medi-Cal dental benefits, improved reimbursement rates and other significant programmatic changes have led to meaningful and sustained results in the Medi-Cal Dental Program. In the past five years, the state has seen a 25% increase in Medi-Cal dental providers, a rate that is consistently increasing each year, as well as a doubling of patient utilization of Medi-Cal dental services since the Great Recession. In addition, last year the state made a first-of-its-kind investment to fix the crisis in dental care access for patients with special health care needs and to increase the supply of providers in underserved areas.
CDA will be focused on protecting these investments in this year’s budget. We commend Gov. Newsom for the role he’s played in this historic progress and for his commitment to maintaining it.”