The Wisconsin Dental Association today released the following statement from WDA President Dr. Paula Crum (Green Bay), after Gov. Tony Evers signed the 2021-23 biennial budget, which includes monumental increases in dental Medicaid reimbursement.
“On behalf of the 3,100 members of the Wisconsin Dental Association, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to the Legislature and Gov. Evers for including reimbursement increases for oral health providers in the 2021-23 state budget. Today’s action represents the state’s first significant investment in oral health in two decades.
“Through bipartisan action and support, the Legislature and Governor have taken a strong step forward toward increasing access to care for our state’s most vulnerable populations.
“Expanding access to oral health is, and should remain, a bipartisan priority. The WDA would like to thank Gov. Evers, Speaker Robin Vos, Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu and Joint Committee on Finance Co-Chairmen Mark Born and Howard Marklein for doing just that.
“I also want to extend my appreciation to WDA member dentists who sent over 500 messages to lawmakers urging them to support increased Medicaid reimbursement. Successful advocacy campaigns require engaged and enthusiastic grassroots partners. Today’s bill signing is a testament to this.
“We greatly appreciate the increased attention being paid to oral health in Wisconsin. We all agree that getting more people quality oral healthcare will require a multipronged approach, utilizing a variety of solutions. The Wisconsin Dental Association strongly believes increasing reimbursement rates in our state is one of the prongs to do just that. Today is a momentous day, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate to accomplish even more this legislative session.”