Oral Health & Early Learning – Oral Health Watch

Ensuring Oral Health is a part of Early Learning

In order for children to be ready for school, they need to be healthy.  Oral health is a critical part of a child’s health, growth, development and ability to learn.

Dental decay is the single most common chronic disease of early childhood.  Left untreated, the pain and infection caused by tooth decay can lead to problems eating, sleeping and speaking.  The good news is that dental disease is almost entirely preventable.

What policymakers can do:

  • Protect funding for early learning programs, ECEAP and the Home Visiting Services Fund, that provide coordination for children’s health including oral health.
  • Include oral health in regulations for licensed child care settings.
  • Include oral health in training for early learning professionals.

Opportunities to Improve the Medicaid Dental Program

By: Diane Oakes, President & CEO of Arcora Foundation When our state legislators passed the 2019–2021 Operating Budget in the final days of the session, they included a proviso directing the Health Care Authority (HCA) to stop moving forward with the planned implementation of Medicaid dental managed care, to continue directly administering the program under…

Apple Health dental program investments good policy, the right thing to do

Oral Health Watch and the nearly two million Washington residents with Apple Health (Medicaid) dental coverage need your support. While the House and Governor’s budgets include an increase for the Apple Health dental program, the Senate budget represents a cut of more than $19M in total funds ($7.8M in state funds) from the program. The…

Expanding dental care access is a top priority during 2019 legislative session

Oral Health Watch believes every person should enjoy the benefits of good oral health and that no one should be burdened by painful cavities and untreated oral disease. As Washington lawmakers return to Olympia for a 105-day legislative session this week, OHW would like to share some of the legislative priorities of oral health advocates.…

Making progress toward improved oral health care access

Oral health care advocates had a good deal to cheer about in 2018 as both Washington state and the federal government signed into law legislation aimed at expanding dental care access for underserved populations. This year began with a short Washington state legislative session that yielded multiple oral health care access gains, including the Legislature’s…

Open Enrollment Ends Dec. 15th

Washington residents seeking health care coverage for 2019 on the Washington Health Benefit Exchange have until Saturday, December 15thbefore the open enrollment period ends. Enrollment for Apple Health, our state’s Medicaid program, is available year-round for individuals and families that qualify for free or low-cost health coverage. The number of people signing up for care in…

Make your voice heard for immigrant families

By Litonya Lester, Health Policy Director and Sarah Domondon, Policy and Advocacy Associate at Children’s Alliance Immigrant families shouldn’t have to choose between getting dental care and their stability in the U.S. But the White House’s current proposed rule on public charge have many wondering if accessing vital services will put them at risk. Luckily…

Annual free health clinic in Seattle returns with some changes

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Dental care often has been one of the most requested services at the SKCC. On Thursday, the first day of the SKCC, the clinic set aside about 500 tickets for dental care. Staff said all of those tickets had been given out by 9 a.m. Thursday.