California Assemblyman Proposes Expanding Dental Care Access For Special Needs Patients

February 14, 2020 10:00 am · 10 comments

State Assemblyman David Chiu announced this week he’s introducing a bill to expand access to dental care for special needs patients throughout California.

Assembly Bill 2146 would allow dental clinics at public universities to have access to federal matching dollars in order to increase access to dental care for people with developmental disabilities and other special health care needs, according to Chiu’s office.

The federal matching dollars would come from an agreement between the schools and the California Department of Health Care Services and the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“Dental care is such a vital part of maintaining good health, and yet it is so often overlooked in broader health care conversations,” Chiu said in a statement.

“The special needs dental clinics at our public universities are a lifeline for many, but they need more resources to increase access and care for our most vulnerable,” he said.

Research shows people with developmental and intellectual disabilities have a disproportionately high rate of dental disease and tooth decay. Also, because they often have special health care needs, many dentists aren’t equipped to provide them with care, leaving people with disabilities few treatment options.

The bill would also help provide dental students with training and aims to increase the number of providers who are able to treat special needs patients.

Currently, there are only six dental school special needs clinics in California. Only two of those clinics are located at public universities, which are the University of California at Los Angeles and University of California at San Francisco.

Tsa February 14, 2020 at 10:47 AM

Great, then most of California’s politicians would qualify.

SF oh February 14, 2020 at 12:46 PM

I totally agree with providing necessary services for individuals with special needs. As long as this bill isn’t a front for something else – or covering up some shady dealings tacked on to it —- I’m all for it.

Pyrrhus February 14, 2020 at 3:53 PM

Universal Health and Dental care please. Instead of spending all that money on the over bloated military to protect corporate interests let’s spend it on our citizens. With Universal health and dental we can take care of every American (Yes, American and not illegal immigrant) in this country. It works for the entire Western civilization but not for us?

Imagine the economic freedom of not having your health care tied to your job. Employers won’t have to worry about an employee being considered full time. Employees can take more risks moving jobs. Doctors and dentist’s can just do their job and not worry whether a patient has the ability to pay or if the insurance will cover something.

Also, the entire idea that you aren’t going to get the help you need because of long lines is a myth. If you are in an emergency situation you will be seen. It’ll be no different then it is now in an emergency room. Those that are facing life or death situations will be seen first, otherwise you are going to wait. I have Kaiser and every Emergency room visit has been 2 to 3 hours at minimum. Yes, you will have to wait months now for a hip replacement, but you also aren’t going to be burdened with $1,000s in medical debt.

ZZ February 14, 2020 at 6:03 PM

You’re in a fantasy world. Haha!

ZZ February 14, 2020 at 6:04 PM

You live in a fantasy world. Haha!

Max February 15, 2020 at 9:27 AM

My family has Kaiser. The only 2 times we’ve used the emergency room our wait time was less than 5 mins. Later when I was sick, I had a cat scan the next day, and then several biopsies, started chemo, all within a few weeks. Universal health care could not have done that.

Mika February 14, 2020 at 4:02 PM

Dental care/insurance should be available to EVERYONE! Dental health is important for good overall health, but inaccessible to many because of cost. I know many people who don’t/can’t go due to financial hardship.

Aunt Barbara February 14, 2020 at 5:02 PM

agree…. bad breath is never enticing. 🙁

sign from above February 15, 2020 at 2:38 PM

Absolutely Mika! Why stop there? I think we should all have access to expensive cars, planes, boats, and a million dollar bank account! I’m all for it!! Sounds rediculous right? Yes, it is! It’s just rediculous in the other direction!

Guess what? I spent eight years of my life in the military serving our country. When I got out, I went back to school to earn my higher education. I then got a good job and stayed with it. Why did I do this? Because I wanted to have a stable life. I’ve taught my son that college is not extra education, it is simply the next step after high school. Why? Because I want the best for him and I want him to make good decisions. We have to live with our decisions, good or bad. Those are called life’s lessons!

Why on earth should I have to pay for someone else’s poor decisions? I’ve worked hard and payed my dues to have the lifestyle I have (to include stable health/dental care). Why should someone that did not do the same, have the same benefits in life? This is just the lazy man’s liberal approach. Take from those that made good decisions in life and give it to those that did not! Punish people for good decisions and reward others for poor decisions! Great mentality there!

sign from above February 15, 2020 at 2:42 PM


Most jobs that require any resemblance of a brain provide benefits. If yours doesn’t, go find one that does! They’re out there people! But they won’t come looking for you! Again, you have to make some effort in life our you will not survive. There is nothing wrong with survival of the fittest.

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