Vote no: Initiative lacks the scrutiny and vetting of legislative process
As someone who served 16 years in the state Legislature, including six years as Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, and as spokesperson for the Committee to Protect Access to Quality Dental Care, I feel compelled to speak out against the Globe’s endorsement of Question 2 (“Vote yes on Question 2,” Editorial, Oct. 24). The passage of this question could increase costs and decrease access to care for dental patients and small businesses across Massachusetts.
The proponent placed this question on the ballot without any expert review of its consequences for consumers. Since there is no law like this ballot question anywhere else in the country, on the state or federal level, this is of particular concern. The proponent is avoiding the scrutiny that comes through the legislative process, with public hearings, expert testimony, and thoughtful deliberation before such a proposal would move forward. Massachusetts residents are not being served by this process.
That is why I agree with one particular point the editorial board made, when it stated that “regulations of this kind should generally happen in legislatures, not the ballot box.”
With consumer prices soaring to all-time highs, the Commonwealth doesn’t need this added regulation that would only increase costs and decrease choice for patients across the state.
The writer was a member of the 2014 Massachusetts Special Commission on Dental Insurance.
Vote yes: Premium dollars should go toward care, not insurers’ pockets
Patient dollars should go to patient care, not to the profits of dental insurance companies and their executives. Question 2, the Medical Loss Ratios for Dental Insurance Plans Initiative, would improve the quality of dental care and ensure that at least 83 percent of premium dollars paid to dental insurers go toward providing patients with the care they need.
The initiative would allow for a much-needed increase in transparency and accountability for dental insurers, requiring companies to disclose administrative costs and other relevant financial information annually to the Massachusetts Division of Insurance. It would also prevent premium increases above certain thresholds without state approval. Furthermore, it would give the Division of Insurance oversight into dental plan rates and require that premium increases deemed excessive or unreasonable be blocked.
Administrative costs, profits, and executive compensation should not outweigh the priority of providing residents of the Commonwealth with accessible, affordable dental health care. As the mouth-body connection between dental health and overall physical health has become better understood, it is clear that healthy mouths are essential to healthy bodies.
Question 2 would pave the way toward a healthier community across the board, ensuring better care for patients and lowering health care costs for everyone in the long run.
Association of Dental Support Organizations
The ADSO and its member organizations are working and aligned with the American Dental Association in support of Question 2. DSOs contract with dental practices to provide business management and support including nonclinical operations.