America's Wire Releases Dr. David Satcher Commentary Urging States To Increase Dental Care Access For Poor And Minority Children

Sep 17, 2012, 13:17 ET from America’s Wire

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- America's Wire today released a commentary by Dr. David Satcher, former US Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary for Health. In the commentary, Dr. Satcher urges states to take steps to increase access to dental care for poor and minority children.

"As states wrangle with whether or not to pursue Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, they should look carefully at the serious implications for oral health, especially for poor and minority children if Medicaid services are not expanded as originally envisioned under the ACA," Dr. Satcher writes, noting that 37 percent of African American children and 41 percent of Hispanic children have untreated tooth decay, compared with 25 percent of white children.

"States should explore all options that could expand access to care, including allowing midlevel dental providers such as dental therapists to practice," Dr. Satcher writes. "They are trained to provide routine services, freeing up dentists to attend to more complicated procedures. These practitioners already work in Alaska and Minnesota. And in just a number of years, they have been able to expand access in Alaska alone to an additional 35,000 people who could not get regular care in their own communities."

His commentary, as well as other articles and commentaries, are available free of charge from America's Wire. Go to  and click downloads (right column) to reprint.

America's Wire is an independent media outlet that provides mainstream newspapers, community papers, websites, ethnic publications and wire services with stories and commentaries reporting on structural bias, and the communities impacted by it. This week, we are also featuring:

  • Commentary by Allison Brown on the challenges to raising an African American son in the US.
  • An inside look at Rodney King's life.
  • Commentary by a New Orleans 9th Ward resident outraged at her home being called "Jungleland" by The New York Times.

These stories and many more are available at  All articles can be republished by media outlets at no charge.  

America's Wire is operated by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and is made possible through a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

Michael K. Frisby

SOURCE America’s Wire