Think the cuts to Medicaid dental and vision benefits hurt people “out there somewhere”? Look at this map and think again – they’re right next door.

As always, the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy is a key resource for moving Kentucky forward – and to keep Kentucky from going backward, too. They’ve taken the Medicaid expansion data and given us an interactive map that shows how many Kentuckians in each county lost the ability to deal with dental and vision problems due to our governor’s short-sighted actions.

Hover over a county and see the impact pulling the plug on Medicaid dental and vision benefits has had on everyday Kentuckians.

In addition, Dustin Pugel of KCEP lays out the reasons cancelling Medicaid dental and vision benefits is such a harmful and short-sighted move. You should go read the entire article (and share it!), but here’s the bullet points:

  • There is no legal or fiscal justification to end these benefits
  • Eliminating dental coverage is dangerous and costly
  • Eliminating vision coverage is harmful and shortsighted
  • Eliminating the transportation benefit is counterproductive

Do we truly know the motives of the people who made this decision? No, we weren’t in those discussions, and we can’t peer into their mind or heart.

BUT — we DO know the impact of those decisions, and the impact is pain and even death to the least among us. And that impact is spread across the state.

The Bevin administration has harmed every county in the Commonwealth. Let us hope CMS forces them to put the benefits back in place.


  • By all means, let’s take away dental and vision coverage from those who need it most. What is the rationale behind this other than Bevin getting revenge any way he can? Dental and vision care are part of good medical care. Apparently, the governor either doesn’t know this or just couldn’t care less because it isn’t an issue for those who can afford it.

  • I am retired military, so between the medical benefits and Medicare my medical us pretty much covered. However, NOT included in that coverage us dental, vision and hearing. I must pay for coverage for those on my own. I am not being heartless or callous. I know homeless vets who get absolutely nothing , so I do understand where you are coming from. I read.a similar article where several dentists, including one in Floyd County, are whining, crying, complaining about the poor children and others “having to do without dental care.” So, here is a.novel idea for those caring dentists; why not borrow a page from the lawyers book and bono service? Pro bono is a free service provided by those with special skills to those in need. This is done for the benefit of society (mankind) and is done with no expectations of being paid. Many dentists will say the number needing care is enormous, then gather all local dentists together and “divvy” up the case and triage for those needing care. I was born and raised in Kentucky, but currently live in Utah. The state of Utah has one of the best economies in the US for several reasons; one of those being an outstanding work ethic. Many companies take that into account when looking for expansion. The leadership of Utah is Republican, just as is Kentucky’s, so this needn’t be a political argument. There are many factors to be considered. I am 71years old am still working (by choice) part-time and am being offered as many hours as I want because we (Utah) have many more available than we can fill. My heart will always be in Kentucky, particularly Floyd County. God Bless!

    • First of all, thank you for your service. Second of all, thank you for reading, and I hope you come back often.

      The idea of pro bono medical service is not a bad one. I disagree with it mainly because I believe health care should be provided to all and paid for by our taxes, but I do see where you are coming from.

      I think the issue in Kentucky, though, is the size of the problem. I was seeing rural counties with, say, 4,000 people who lost coverage. Not all of them use it, of course, and not all of them need it at the same time. Still, for some of these counties that only have a few dentists, providing pro bono for all the persons who lost coverage would essentially take up all their practice time, or enough of it to make it financially unsustainable.

      Again, thanks for reading and commenting. And come back and see us in Kentucky when you can. Take care!

      • Bruce Maples, spot on. These are small, rural, communities. There are 120 counties in Kentucky, all but 2 voted for Trump in the election. I wonder if they will see the light next time around. Bevin and Trump, evil twins.