Medicaid expansion might be a failed issue in this session of the General Assembly.  But the Medicaid program is being expanded in one important area nonetheless.  

The next state budget will give something back to about 300,000 Missourians that they lost almost a decade ago–basic dental care. 

The legislature cut the Medicaid program in 2005, eliminating services to hundreds of thousands of Missourians. One of the biggest cuts was in dental services.  

The budget that goes into effect July first includes more than 48-million dollars to restore dental benefits to Medicaid-eligible adults. 

Senate appropriations chairman Kurt Schaefer says the restoration elimiantes an inconsistency  in the program.

                                  AUDIO: Schaefer :18

The program might be about teeth, but it’s also about health, in general.  Cassville Senator David Sater, a pharmacist by trade, has seen what happens to people who don’t get proper dental care.

                                   AUDIO: Sater :11 

The budget also includes increases in Medicaid reimbursements for dentists, a move the legislature hopes encourages more dentists to take Medicaid patients.