Medicaid Turns 50 — and Saves Money from Fluoridation
Medicaid serves as a critical safety net for children when it comes to dental care. Not surprisingly, this program takes up a significant share of the typical state budget. New data from a federally funded commission shows that Medicaid accounts for nearly one in five dollars (18.9%) of the average state’s general fund. But we want to offer taxpayers some solace.
Focusing on prevention can reduce Medicaid’s costs. Better yet, there is a well-known form of oral health prevention that actually saves families and taxpayers money by reducing tooth decay –thereby reducing the need for fillings, crowns and other dental treatments. In case you haven’t guessed, it’s called community water fluoridation (CWF).
Research from a variety of states — from New York to Texas — has demonstrated that Medicaid saves money when communities are fluoridated.
Medicaid observes its 50th anniversary today. Keeping people healthy requires that we keep this vital program financially stable. Policies like fluoridation help us do that.