Why the Census Matters for Health Care

In 2020 the federal government will count the roughly 330 million people in the United States (US) through the census, a tally that is mandated by the Constitution. The census occurs every ten years and requires every resident in the US to complete forms that detail household size, income, and other demographic details. The data from the census determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and representation in state legislatures, and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities.

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Communicating the Importance of Dental Care During Pregnancy

Expectant mothers have a lot to keep track of, and misperceptions on the importance and safety of dental care during pregnancy can push oral health care to the bottom of the list. Medical professionals and family educators can drive home the value of dental care and increase the chance a woman will visit the dentist during her pregnancy.

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How Proposed Changes to Public Charge Will Affect Health Utilization

Earlier this year, the Trump administration released a draft of planned policy changes that would expand the criteria used to consider a person a potential “public charge.” The proposed changes are already causing some Virginia immigrants to forgo using public health programs for fear this may jeopardize their immigration status.  Given the impact on health care utilization in Virginia, we, as a health advocacy community, need to educate communities and address the proposed changes head-on.

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Making Medicaid Expansion a Reality in Virginia

It is a busy and rewarding start to the summer across the Commonwealth. A few weeks ago, the Virginia legislature voted to expand Medicaid eligibility, which means, by January 1, nearly 400,000 low-income Virginians will be able to access affordable health care coverage with a very limited, extraction-only dental benefit.

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A State of Decay Report Underscores Need for Advocacy, Community Engagement in Virginia

Oral Health America’s (OHA) national report A State of Decay, Vol. IV examines key indicators that impact the oral health of older adults in all states. Virginia narrowly earned a “Good” rating with a 70% score, putting us 11th in the nation for our efforts to improve oral health in seniors. With 1.35 million seniors living in Virginia (16% of our total population), this report illustrates Virginia’s progress and identifies a need for continued action to ensure America’s rapidly growing older population ages healthily and independently.

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