Apr 27, 2016

California's low income dental program called an "outright mess"

Assemblyman Jim Wood asks, "where are the providers?"

In Humboldt, if you happen to be eligible for Media Cal in the last, Burre Center, the only provider, does not accept new patients.

They will, if you have an emergency, which usually means your tooth needs to be pulled.


According to the California Healthline article above:

 A damning report released earlier this month by a state oversight commission described California’s dental program for low income people as an “outright mess,” detailing its severe shortcomings and poor performance.
In a seven-month review, the Little Hoover Commission found that fewer than half the people eligible for benefits in the Denti-Cal program actually get dental appointments — in part because of a serious shortage of dentists. The commission found that most dentists in California don’t participate in Denti-Cal — a division of the Medi-Cal insurance program for low-income residents — because of its low reimbursement rates and administrative barriers.


  1. I went to a "How to Lobby Class" put on by a Veteran's group I belonged to in Sacramento. We were told, that without a doubt the most effective lobbying organization in CA was the California Dental Association. A Eureka resident, and retired dentist, Eugene Welling was a former president of the CDA. The reason behind their effectiveness is all of the legislators go to Dentists, and have that captive audience with their patient and legislator, or so we were told, once they are in the dentist's chair. Dr.(Assemblyperson) Jim Wood is of course a dentist, so he above all should be able to come up with workable solutions for this problem.

  2. Assemblyman Wood is raising the issue. He cannot force people to participate. Why should they? This is one example why healthcare for all does not work. If taxes went directly for essential services instead of funding the nth study by someone on the spotted owl, we would see benefit. Elect people who manage money properly, for the People.

  3. i did need a broken front tooth pulled, and i went there (burre center)and after a few hrs they took me in and i was very happy.

    the staff at burre is fantastic. knowledgeable, informative, HELPFUL!, and great practitioners.

    it's a shame they can't find enough dentists for the population who needs them. i think those who work for burre center do it because they want to help others.

    workmen's comp is murder, refusing Rx's, making my dr fill out a new form every month for every Rx...celebrex?? , neurotin?? i take no narcotics, but still, all this paper work and reduced pay to the medical professionals by comp will have me with NO services when my clinic throws up it's hands and sends me a-packin'

    no where to turn for help changing this that i've found.

    1. Thank you for sharing something so personal.