GROUP RIPS BAKER'S ORAL HEALTH, RX TRAINING CUTS

GROUP RIPS BAKER'S ORAL HEALTH, RX TRAINING CUTS

GROUP RIPS BAKER'S ORAL HEALTH, RX TRAINING CUTS

By Michael P. Norton

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

Gov. Charlie Baker's cuts to an oral care program for children, a dental program for individuals with disabilities, and a training program on cost-effective prescription drugs need to be reversed, according to a health care consumer organization.

"As consumer advocates we urge the Baker administration to reassess the return on investments of these specific cuts and the impact on those residents of Massachusetts who need those services the most," Health Care for All Interim Executive Director Stephen Rosenfeld said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Baker unilaterally cut $98 million from the $39.25 billion budget on Tuesday. The cuts came amid slow-growing state tax collections and warnings from the Corner Office that major fixed costs are underfunded in the budget.

Health Care For All (HCFA) urged lawmakers considering the possibility of restoring funds for the programs in January to include funding for the Forsyth kids program, which it said provides preventive oral health services in cities for 2,500 children in school-based settings. A $250,000 cut to Tufts Dental Facilities will eliminate a program that provides comprehensive oral health services for adults with disabilities, HCFA said.

HCFA said it was "appalled" by a $150,0000 cut to an academic detailing program that "trains independent experts to meet with doctors to provide scientific information about cost-effective prescription drugs, counteracting the marketing practices by paid pharma sales representatives who solely push specific brand name drugs." 

 

12/7/2016

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