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Lawmakers Want New Tobacco Tax Money To Go Toward Fixing Calif.'s Denti-Cal Program

emrank / Flickr
 

emrank / Flickr

Republican leaders in the state legislature want Governor Brown to use new tobacco tax money to fix the state's Denti-Cal program. A state watchdog group called the Denti-Cal program "dysfunctional" in a report earlier this year.

In a letter to Governor Jerry Brown, Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller and Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes urged Governor Jerry Brown to increase reimbursement payments to providers and improve management of the Denti-Cal program.

Mayes says there are millions of Californians that aren't getting the dental care that they need.

"We want to make sure that the programs we currently have are properly funded so that we can make sure that kids in California and those most in need can receive those services," says Mayes.

Denti-Cal reimbursement payments are only 35 percent of the national average for the 15 most common prevention and treatment procedures. 

Five counties in the state have no Denti-Cal providers.