How to Cut the Cost of Medicaid: Fluoridate

Posted & filed under Children's Oral Health and Fluoride, Fluoride and Public Health.

Smiling Father and SonWant to cut the cost of state Medicaid programs? The researchers of the recently published study, Reducing early childhood caries in a Medicaid population, looked at no fewer than nine oral health interventions in New York and found the most effective way to do just that. Fluoridating the entire state would result in a net savings of more than $10 million dollars over a 10 year period, and that represents savings on services to only a small portion of those covered by Medicaid, preschoolers. Since people of all ages benefit from the dental health effects of fluoridated water, additional savings – both public and private – would be realized.

Had an ill-advised proposal to remove fluoride from the New York City water supply succeeded, the estimated additional cost to treat the resulting dental disease in just that city’s Medicaid preschoolers would increase by more than $54 million over 10 years.

Community water fluoridation is an effective cost containment measure. By preventing disease, it also reduces the need for treatment, especially costly treatment in emergency departments and operating rooms. Conserving millions of dollars in public funds is the fiscally responsible choice to make. And isn’t it good to know that we’re reducing pain and suffering of preschoolers – and people – everywhere?