Note: A portion of this story was aired as part of the Health & Wealth Update for 5/14/2014
When I think about adult dental care in Missouri, I think of Ben Affleck. In the movie Argo, CIA agent Tony Mendez, played by Affleck, pitches his plan to extract six American hostages from Iran by pretending to be on a Hollywood scouting trip. The CIA director doesn’t think it’ll work and wants to look for a better option. That’s when Mendez says:
Back in 2005, Missouri de-funded dental care for all Medicaid recipients except, children, pregnant women and the disabled. And it’s left a lot of people with only bad options.
Many of them find themselves in the ER with tooth infections, where cost for treatment per patient can run on average around $9,000. Some try to find affordable care at Federally Qualified Health Centers where services are discounted for low-income patients, but aren't free.