I wanted to share the below letter, signed by ten leading West Virginia organizations that believe Medicare dental coverage is critical for West Virginians and that it must be included in the reconciliation package. A dental benefit in Medicare would ensure nearly 450,000 older adults and people with disabilities in West Virginia would not only get important dental care, but also would be healthier, have lower health care costs, be better able to get and keep jobs, and have an easier time overcoming social isolation. Additionally, people of all backgrounds support adding the benefit, including 8 in 10 West Virginia voters and 73% of conservative voters in the state.
Signers include: American Friends Service Committee of West Virginia, NASW WV, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, Rise Up WV, West Virginia Alliance for Retired Americans, West Virginia Dental Hygienists’ Association, West Virginia Oral Health Coalition, West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, WV Citizen Action Group, and WV FREE.
We appreciate Senator Manchin’s consideration on this issue, and appreciate that he is trying to take the needs of all West Virginians into consideration. It is clear that the need for appropriate dental coverage in Medicare is great in our state, and that an overwhelming majority of the state supports its inclusion.