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Dental Coverage for Pacific Islanders in Washington!
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Dear Friend,
 

Oral health is vital to overall health. Kids and families need timely, preventive dental care to ensure that common experiences with cavities don’t become serious, chronic, painful conditions that interfere with work and school.

Last year, Washingtonians from the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau led efforts to secure the passage of Senate Bill 5683, creating the COFA Islander Health Care Program, but no dental coverage was included. That's why Children's Alliance joined with COFA communities this session to add dental coverage. Our advocacy is working! The State Senate unanimously passed SB 5274 three weeks ago to add dental coverage to the COFA Islander Health Care Program.

Now it's time to tell members of the House of Representatives: Washingtonians from COFA Nations need dental coverage. 

In order to offer a full scope of health care coverage and achieve parity with Medicaid, we are asking our elected officials in the State House of Representatives: vote yes on SB 5274 to include dental coverage in the COFA Islander Health Care Program! Join us!

This bill had a great public hearing yesterday in the House Appropriations Committee. The next hurdles for the bill to clear are a vote in committee then a vote in the full House of Representatives. Please take action now.

Take action!
Jiji Jally and Irene Jorkan at COFA Lobby Day in Olympia with Children's Alliance in March 2019.
Learn more:

Senate Bill 5274 will improve health equity and provide access to dental care for Washingtonians from three Pacific Island nations: the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau. These nations have Compacts of Free Association with the United States. The Compacts are based on historic and current strategic military interests in the region. Washingtonians from Compact of Free Association (COFA) nations work and pay taxes just like U.S. citizens and serve in every branch of the U.S. armed forces. Despite this unique and close relationship, since 1997 people living in the United States from COFA nations have not been eligible for medicaid, including dental coverage. When parents and caregivers can't get dental care, kids suffer too.

Tell your House Representatives to join the State Senate in supporting Senate Bill 5274 and standing up for Pacific Islander Washingtonians who are suffering without access to dental care! 
Take action!
Thank you for speaking up for kids.

Sincerely,

Jon

Jon Gould
Deputy Director
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