One day after SB 1362 passed Senate Health Committee hearings, there is more good news to share with the dental community. Another one of our own, Erik Klintmalm ’18, provided personal testimony on Thursday morning to the House Health Committee regarding HB 2442. HB 2442 would create a comprehensive dental benefit for pregnant mothers under AHCCCS, and received a unanimous 9-0 vote in favor of the bill.
Klintmalm has been working with AzDA Executive Director Kevin Earle, AzDA Council on Government Affairs, and the State Oral Health Coalition to do the research to support and pass this legislation. It has also been the focus of his MPH practicum.
HB 2442 will undergo the same process as highlighted with SB 1362 in yesterday’s post. Being a House bill, it will go to the House floor for a vote. Pending approval, it will then cross over to the Senate Health committee for hearings and then a vote on the Senate floor. From there, to the Governor.
It is very exciting to have so many members involved and passionate about legislation and advocacy, and to be able to say ASDOH ASDA has multiple members who are on the front lines, making real change in dental legislation.
Read more below from the Arizona Dental Association about HB 2442:
Support HB 2442 – Provides a dental benefit for pregnant mothers under AHCCCS [Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System].
- Approximately one third of all pregnant women have periodontal disease, which has been associated with many types of complications of pregnancy, like pre-term births. The pre-term birth rate for women with periodontal disease is 28.6% vs 11.2% for women without periodontal disease.
- Good dental care during pregnancy also prevents the transmission of decay causing bacteria to children, and encourages good oral health habits for the entire family.
- Pre-term births are taxing on families and caregivers and are expensive for health care delivery systems like AHCCCS. AHCCCS covers 54% of the live births in Arizona. Conditions like pre-term birth and respiratory distress syndrome are significant expenses.
- An AHCCCS dental benefit for pregnant mothers will provide comprehensive coverage to an annual limit of $1,000. It is expected to yield significant downstream savings and healthier mothers and children.
Andy Larkin, ASDOH ’19