Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Why is RON Getting Drilled by Dentists?

I noted last week the collection of usual suspects opposing RON. In that collection was the Ohio Dental Association. All well and good. Health professional associations have long been Republican bulwarks. Taxes and torts and all that. Why ODA and not, say OMA? Dunno, but I didn’t give it much thought at the time.

Then our organizer posted the Ohio First donor on our Yahoo group, and we noticed something odd. You can find the complete list here, but check out the excerpt at the bottom of the page. I count 66 dentists, dental practices and dental organizations collectively giving well over $100,000 to Ohio First. This is more than supporting a Republican cause. This is an organized effort.

Anyone who organizes an effort like this expects something in return. After all, even the Amish got their legislative wish after turning out in droves for Bush/Chaney. I expect that it is something greater than simply protecting tort reform or keeping taxes low. I expect it is something specific. But where is the quid for this quo?

I did some digging and have a guess.

When Taft proposed his budget earlier this year, it included an end to Medicaid dental coverage. The Ohio Dental Association got on the case. They issued press releases. They testified. They launched a “grassroots” effort that made the ADA papers. It was an effort that rivals, well, rivals the apparent concerted campaign against RON.

In the end they succeeded. Kind of. Medicaid dental coverage is extended for two mor years. Coverage amounts were cut for patients over 21. The Bill Analysis of the budget bill also notes the following:

The act explicitly states that the act does not limit ODJFS's ability to adopt, amend, or rescind rules applicable to dental coverage for Medicaid recipients under age 21 that limit or reduce coverage, reduce reimbursement levels, or subject covered services to co-payments.

So over the long run, Medicaid dental coverage is by no means assured. I know nothing about this beyond some computer research. But it sure looks like Ohio dentists have a deep and abiding interest in the legislative process over the next couple years, and that they have put themselves in a position of calling favors when that legislation is up.

An idealist might say that dentist should think about supporting RON as a more Democrat-heavy legislature is more likely to protect Medicaid. A cynic would reply that Democrats would force people in upper-income brackets – like, say dentists – to pay for things like Medicaid.

We need to watch this and any other dentist-friendly legislation that may come down the pike. In the meantime, check out the following list. You may want to change who cleans your teeth.

Jeffrey Tilson DDS - $300
Stanich Family Denistry - $200
Thomas Skinner DDS - $200
Schumaker Schneider and Wolfe - $200
Ross Shira DDS, Inc. - $300
Brian M. Scott DDS - $200
E Lee Rice DDS - $250
Ronald J Reber - $200
Pope and Maryson Orthodontics - $200
Dental Group West - $100
Cynthia J. Petroff DDS - $500
Richard C. Nyzen DDS - $200
Noonan and Brochman DDS - $400
Jean M. Nicolette DDS - $200
Stephen R. Moore DDS, Inc. - $200
Miller Dental Associates, Inc. - $200
Joseph T. Mellion DDS - $250
Hagerty and Mazzola DDS, Inc. - $200
Dewitt T. May DDS, Inc. $200
Mark Logeman DDS - $200
Robert M. Lazarow DDS - $200
Matthew R. Lark DDS - $100
Kyger Dental Associates - $200
Drs. Kramer and Associates - $200
Stuart B. Katz DDS, Inc. - $250
G. Douglass Hoover, DDS - $250
Smilina Buckeye Enterprises - $200
Hans P. Guter DDS - $200
Northcoast Endodontic Specialists, Inc. - $250
John Gerstenmaier DDS - $200
Stephen T Fabry DDS, Inc - $200
South Court Dental Medicine - $200
WA Evanko DDS & RM Benninger DDS Inc. - $300
Robert J Dornauer DDS, Inc. - $200
Alex C Cassinelli DMD - $500
Alven L Herstig DDS - $200
William Zucker DDS - $200
Joseph T Mellion DDS - $250
John Mascaro - $200
Jennifer A Kale DDS Inc. - $250
Clark D Cellio DDS MS, Inc. - $200
Hocking Valley Dental Society, Inc. - $500
R A FRI JR DDS Inc. - $200
Nanette C Tertel DDS LLC - $200
Blank and Levy DDS Assoc Inc. - $100
Petry & Petry DDS Inc. - $200
Akron Oral Surgery Group - $1,000
Lamont Jacobs - $300
Dentistry at Winbury - $300
Ronald P Lemmo & Association DDS Inc. - $200
Doctors Graham & Henzel Inc. - $200
Michael E Judy DDS Inc - $500
Dayton Dental Society - $3,000
Northwestern Ohio Dental Society - $5,000
Toledo Dental Society - $5,000
Rehwinkel Dental Society - $5,000
Akron Dental Society - $5,000
Keely Dental Society - $5,000
GCDS Service Corp - $5,000
Ohio Dental Association - $10,000
Cincinnati Dental Society - $10,000
American Dental PAC - $25,000
AAOMS/OMSPAC - $20,000
David Waldron - $200
Kenneth C Brandt DDS - $200
Matthew J. Messina DDS - $200


Anonymous said...

This is not a political issue. Dental medicade is an important service to low income families whom otherwise could not afford to take care of their teeth. Dentists donated and pushed hard to keep this program because it benefits the people of Akron. Most dentists are republican because they have money and they want to keep it. End of story.

tushar said...

Hey that's good blog. very informative. Dental care should be taken care off or it a big problem later. Endodontist offers state of the art endodontic treatment or root canal therapy performed in professional and completely painless manner.