Dentists forced to turn away clients due to medicaid cuts

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DANVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ)- Dentists across Kentucky are turning away thousands of clients and losing business in the process.

They say it’s because last week Governor Matt Bevin cut vision and dental benefits for about 460,000 low-income Kentuckians on Medicaid.

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Dr. Corky Deaton, a dentist in Danvilley, says if these medicaid cuts continue he’ll have to make some business changes, but he’s more concerned about the people he sees who can’t make appointments right now.

Deaton says he’s had to cancel about 30-40 appointments for this week and next. Half of his scheduled day is gone.

“The hardest part for me is the frustration of seeing these people who cannot, who are in pain…” Deaton said.



Now, those people can’t get the right help. Deaton says several of his patients were in the middle of treatment that shouldn’t be delayed.

It’ll affect his business too, but he says he’s most concerned about his community’s health needs.

“Many of them have become friends. We celebrate together. We grieve together. It’s more than just cleaning their teeth,” Deaton said.

The Governor says the cuts are a cost-saving measure after a judge shot down his plan to have medicaid recipients work, volunteer, or pay monthly premiums.

Deaton says he doesn’t want to play politics. He just wants to see his neighbors get the dental work they need.