Thanks for providing me the opportunity to set the record straight over your
piece entitled “The Secret Lives of Dentists.” To be sure, the title was a
clever play on the movie with the same name, but if the piece was a movie,
Siskel and Ebert likely would have given it two thumbs down. I recognize,
however, that reporters, like legislators, are under the gun of deadlines
during the waning hours of the last week of session and I offer this letter
as not only a little playful ribbing, but also to correct some serious
factual errors contained in your article.
Everyone around the building knows I’m extremely proud to be a member of the
dental profession. Moreover, I’m equally proud of my years of advocacy on
behalf of the California Dental Association, and I make no apologies for our
efforts to ensure that California’s dental patients have the best access to
oral health care in the country.
I won’t give you grief over some of the minor errors. I’ll simply address
what I view as the substantive policy error contained in the piece.
Your article states that, pursuant to the provisions of AB 1433, “the state
will apply for at least $2 million in federal matching funds to actually
send low-income kids to dentists.” This is not accurate, as the funding
already has been secured. Gov. Schwarzenegger’s enacted 2006-07 budget
included a total of $2 million (state and federal funds combined) for
increased utilization of both Denti-Cal and Healthy Families pursuant to the
requirements of AB 1433.
Thanks again for letting me set the record straight. You’re building a great
paper and I look forward to working with you to get it right next time so
that it becomes even better.
Assembly member, 63rd District