AUGUSTA (AP) — Maine lawmakers are considering a bill that for the first time would provide emergency dental care for adults who receive Medicaid benefits.

The proposal is designed to reduce uncompensated emergency room treatment for dental pain.

Currently, children are covered for dental care but not adults. About 25 states provide at least some dental coverage for adults on Medicaid, the federally funded program that operates in Maine as MaineCare.

Democratic state Rep. Drew Gattine of Westbrook told the Portland Press Herald ( ) that under his proposal if a doctor signs off on the need for dental care, an adult MaineCare recipient could visit a dentist and have the work paid for, rather than waiting for the problem to become so acute that it results in a visit to the emergency room.

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