Assemblymember David Chiu speaks is seeking to give dental clinics at public universities access to federal funding to provide dental care for people with disabilities. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Chiu bill would expand access to dental care for special needs patients

State Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, announced Wednesday 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.

Bay Area NewsPoliticssan francisco news

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Small, impassioned crowd celebrates the Fourth of July with protest for affirmative action

Lawmakers and marchers urge voters to pass Proposition 16 in the November ballot

Union threatens legal action after Police Commission expands use-of-force policy

San Francisco’s police union is pursuing legal action after the Police Commission… Continue reading

Giants announce health guidelines for Oracle Park

The San Francisco Giants announced Friday that the organization’s maintenance team will… Continue reading

Restorative art on the inside and out

Curator Ericka Scott organizes exhibition of works by prisoners

City Attorney seeks to recoup ‘illegal profits’ gained by Walter Wong through city contracts

San Francisco will seek to recover “illegal profits” gained by well-known permit… Continue reading

Most Read